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Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: Soup is so hot right now. Here's how to make it on the cheap, all week long.

I'm obsessed with soup.  

This is, admittedly, not a cool thing to admit. Soup has never been particularly hip. Nobody's clamoring to open fusion soup food trucks. It's consistently difficult to get a photo of soup to look great, even with the most flattering Instagram filter applied. And the most common reaction to my affinity for soup is along the lines of "girl, get your fill of crunchy foods while you're still young and spry and have all your teeth."  

No thanks. I'll be spending the winter sitting over here in my warmest sweater sipping on something delicious, filling, and cheap while watching The West Wing yet again on Netflix.  

To take a page out of my book, look over a quick tutorial on how to make either a puréed vegetable soup or vegetarian or vegan chili without a recipe. On the next blustery Sunday afternoon, make a big pot. Chances are, you already have everything in your pantry and crisper that you need to cook an affordable, nearly effortless meal. While you're at it, make a loaf of bread to last you throughout the week (while it's baking, power through West Wing Season 2 Episode 8 -- arguably the best of the series). 

Still need inspiration? Here are some easy soup recipes that, rounded out with bread, make a perfect dinner any night of the week.

Winter-Warming, Freezer-Friendly, Pantry-Cleaning Soup


Barbara Lynch's Spicy Tomato Soup


Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup



Minestrone Soup

Broccoli, Lemon and Parmesan Soup

Tell us: What are you favorite cheap fall and winter soups? 

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: On the Cheap, My Broke Kitchen