Friday, April 15, 2011

Pantry Pesto Soup

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 tries hard despite crazily rising food prices to eat on $6/day.

This soup straddles the line between spring and summer. It is eaten warm, but filled with bright, summery things. It is absurdly simple and, at this point in the year, primarily made of foods from the pantry. However, come summer, fresh ingredients will make it even better. (Home canned tomatoes and home frozen pesto make it nearly as good.)

Below, I give you the bare bones "recipe" I used. It's also good with a sprinkle of Parmesan and I'm sure that bacon, chicken, or little meatballs would match up with it just beautifully.

Pantry Pesto Soup
Serves 4-6
Cook time: 5 minutes
Cost: $1.89
(tomatoes: mine were home canned, but if you buy them, they'll cost about 1.29, beans: .20 for dry, .70 for canned, pesto: mine was homemade, but if you buy it it's kind of expensive. I'm honestly not sure how pricey because I've never bought it. I'm going to make a completely uninformed and out of the air guess and say .30)

1 29-ish oz. can tomatoes with juice (1 1/2 C fresh diced tomatoes)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 C rehydrated beans)
3-4 Tbsp pesto (2 handfuls of fresh basil, chopped and 1 garlic clove)
If you're using store bought tomatoes, you probably want to throw in 1 tsp of lemon juice or your favorite vinegar to brighten it up.
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a pan and warm. (If you're using fresh ingredients, you'll want to saute them in oil for a few minutes and then add the beans and perhaps a bit of tomato juice or broth.)

If desired, serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan, parsley, or finely diced meat.


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