Lauren Adams

Snow, two meals for less than $4 and wearing my favorite scarf. Best day ever.

Happy first snow day of the season, Vols! Today was particularly great, not only because I got to wear my favorite scarf and boots, but also because I came up with a fantastic new crock-pot soup recipe that I want to share with everyone!

If you don’t already know how much I love my slow cookers, check out this article (which also includes a great snow day recipe). There is just something so comforting about coming home to a meal that is already prepared after braving the cold, snow and ice all day.

Another thing arguably more comfortable than a warm meal on a snowy day is knowing that I can make two whole servings of this meal all at once for less than $4. Soup that requires little to no effort AND makes enough for dinner a second night? Sign me up.

This recipe includes prices that I got for the whole item from the Kroger app (without using coupons), and I started to divide up the price by how much of the item the recipe calls for, but then I realized that the list of ingredients itself is still less than $4, so it was just better to leave the prices whole! I am not a math major, after all.

I did not calculate the prices of the spices because they are most likely things that you already have, and if you do not, they could be left out or substituted.

Here is your list of ingredients (with prices):

1 can black beans (I like the no-salt kind) - $0.69

1 can diced tomatoes (I used the “chili ready” one) - $0.59

2 cups vegetable broth - $1.29 for a 32 oz. box

½ yellow onion, diced - $0.50 per onion

2 cloves garlic, minced – $0.33 per bulb

1 tsp. each of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and oregano.

Grocery total = $3.40

Drain and rinse the beans, drain the tomatoes, and combine all ingredients into a slow cooker. Cook on low for seven to eight hours, or on high for three to four hours. Easy as pie.

As I stated above, these prices are not sale prices or calculated with coupons, so it is possible to make this even cheaper! To make it even better, this soup is totally vegan. Unless, of course, you do what I did and top it with cheese and sour cream. Other optional toppings can include: cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, green onions or avocado slices. Obviously, this would add on to the total cost, but if you find any of these on sale, why not?

Store this recipe away for the next snowy day or for a time when your food budget is running slim, and I promise that both you and your bank account will be nice and full.

Lauren Adams is a senior studying Spanish and political science with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She can be reached at ladams30@vols.utk.edu.

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