I can do cheap. I raised three girls, a large part of the time as a single parent, and our house was the one where everyone hung out, and consequently got fed. So I learned to make big pots of soup and stew that would feed a horde of hungry girls and even hungrier boyfriends. This one, unfortunately, I didn't learn until after the girls were grown, but it would certainly have been a favorite, as it is now that I have more money and fewer mouths to feed. I figure it comes in at close to 50 cents a serving. You can use most any kind of smoked sausage, or fresh Italian hot sausage. - Kayb —Kayb
navy or great northern beans (I prefer navy), soaked overnight
large onion, diced small
cloves garlic, minced
carrots, peeled and diced
cans diced tomatos
smoked sausage, or fresh hot Italian sausage
If using fresh Italian sausage, remove it from the casings and brown it, breaking up big chunks. Drain and set aside.
Cook diced onion and carrots in olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic. Cook another minute or so, until fragrant. If using smoked sausage, slice it in 1/4 inch slices and add it to skillet to brown slightly.
Add tomatos, meat (if using the Italian sausage), and beans, and enough water to cover surface of beans by about 2 inches. Stir in oregano and thyme.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for about an hour. Add more water if needed. Test and add salt and black pepper if needed.
Stir in chopped basil, and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with a good, crusty Italian bread.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!