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Author Notes: 3 tomatoes, 2 carrots, 1 beet, 1 ear of corn, and Greek yogurt were all that I bought at the store (under eight smackeroos). I had a bag of flour, eggs, and some beer at home. And with those simple things, I was able to make a silky Tomato, Carrot, Beet soup. It was clean in flavor, thin in texture like the liquid in a gazpacho, and dotted with a confetti of corn for extra umph.
After straining my pureed veggies, however, I was left with a pile of sunset colored pulp. And instead of the compost bin, I decided to pour it straight into a bowl of flour, baking powder, and beer. With a few pinches of pepper and cayenne, of course, for extra spice.
An hour, a quick toast, and two fried eggs later, I had a soup and sandwich dinner for two that was flavored by fresh ingredients, totally healthy (and salt-free), and of course, cheap.
Did I mention it cost under 8 buckaroos? —Sodium Girl
Serves 2 hungry, cheap people
- 3 tomatoes (I used slicer, but any plump ripe kind will do)
- 2 medium sized carrots, cut into blendable chunks
- 1 small yellow (or red) beet, peeled and cut into blendable chunks
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or red chili pepper flakes
- 1 12 oz can of beer
- 1 medium ear of corn, shucked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 8oz container of Greek yogurt
- Preheat your oven to 375 dg F. You're doing great already.
- Cut 3 thin, round slices from one tomato and cut them in half, making 6 tomato crescents. Set those aside - they will go on your sandwich later.
- Place the leftover tomatoes (including the one you stole slices) in a blender and pulse until smooth. Add your carrot and beet chunks and pulse again until you've made a chunky tomato, carrot, beet smoothie. Pour into a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth over a small pot and press or squeeze all the juice from the pureed vegetables until you have about 1 [1/2] cups of gorgeous liquid. Set the dry tomato, carrot, beet pulp aside. Now it's time to make some bread.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, black pepper, and chili powder. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Make a well in the center and add your dry veggie pulp. Mix until distributed, breaking up any clumps with your spoon. Then, make another well in the center and slowly add the beer, mixing as you pour. When all the beer is added, there may be some flour left in the bowl unmixed. So roll up your sleeves and get in there, using your hands to give the dough a final mix and knead. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky and a little more water if it is too dry. You want it to be a slightly wet, but not can't-get-it-off-my-hands goopy. Finally, dump the batter into a greased 9 x 5 bread pan, spreading the dough out with your hands or wooden spoon until it fills the pan evenly. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Place the corn on a baking sheet and throw it in the oven with the bread (on a lower rack). When the 30 minutes of bread baking is up, take out your corn and the bread. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and put back into the oven for 30 more minutes.
- When your bread has 15 minutes left, it's time to get the soup cooking. Put your pot of luscious veggie liquid on the stove and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low flame and cover with a lid. This is a great time to cut the kernels from your corn and set them aside. And don't waste that cob! Put it in the soup for some natural creaminess. Who needs to buy cream when you have corn cobs?
- Take the bread out of the oven and allow it to cool, 15 minutes minimum. Also, take the lid off of the soup and allow it to slowly thicken and reduce as you prepare your sandwiches.
- Slice 4, 1/2" pieces of bread and place on a baking sheet. Put them back in the oven on the next to highest rack, under the broiler on high, until crisp and brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, fry two eggs in an oiled saute pan, 2-3 minutes so the yolk is still a bit runny.
- When bread is toasted, spread a bit of greek yogurt on one half, layer with tomato slices, and top with the second bread half. Pour soup - discarding the corn cob - into two small bowls. Sprinkle with corn kernels and top with a spoonful of yogurt. Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately alongside the creamy tomato, carrot, beet and corn soup.
- Go spend your leftover cash on a night cap. Or a new pair of shoes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner
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