Loaded Broccoli and Cheese Soup

When you’re on a budget, soups are easy. Have some veggies that are going bad soon? Throw them in a soup! Ramen on sale? Make some soup! 

So, this here is a recipe for a delicious cream soup. Most of the ingredients can be found at any local grocery store. Here’s a few tips for students, or anyone on a budget or living without a car (meaning you have to carry all your groceries home while you walk).

  • Yes, it’s cheap to buy potatoes by the bag. But what if you know you won’t eat that many potatoes before they go bad? Thanks to one of my current roommates, I’ve seen the fruit-fly-filled-mess left behind when good potatoes go bad. Many grocery stores sell individual potatoes, or very small bags. This is great for those who don’t want to waste food, and for those who don’t have a vehicle to transport their groceries in. I mean, who wants to lug around a 10lbs bag of potatoes on top of all their other shopping?
  • Another option is canned potatoes. I always buy a few cans when they go on sale, and keep them in my cupboard. You can buy them pre-diced, cutting down on prep time. And they’re good for so many things (have some leftover chicken sent home with you from your folks? Throw it in the oven with a can of potatoes, a few baby carrots, cheap olive oil…… it’s to die for!).
  • Again, do you really need to buy a big bag of carrots? As much as I love them, I know I won’t eat a whole bag (and I’m accident prone. Vegetable peelers are not my friend). You can grab cheap bags of baby carrots to use instead. You won’t get the big slices of carrots seen in the picture above, but you won’t have as much leftover produce either. I can usually find them for about $1.50 a bag, and they’re great for cooking.
  • Broccoli goes bad so quickly sometimes. If you have the freezer space, grab some frozen broccoli when it’s on sale. Just let it thaw a while as not to water down the soup.
  • Again, buying a giant bag of flour is very economical. But what if you can’t lug that giant bag home, or you can’t afford to buy an entire giant bag right now? Most bulk stores or bulk grocery sections have flour. You can buy small bags for next to nothing. When you only need 1/3 of a cup, why buy 15lbs?
  • This also works with most spices. If it’s something you use all the time, like salt or pepper, it might be worth it to grab a big container, or get it at the dollar store. But how often do you use garlic powder, or onion powder, or any other spice? If the answer is “probably just when I make this one specific recipe”, then get very small quantities from the bulk foods store. Some spices can be close to $10 for a decent sized jar. Let’s face it, we don’t always have $10 to spend on a random spice!

So, have fun trying out this soup! I just grabbed some clearance canned potatoes and on-sale frozen broccoli last weekend, so I will be making this as soon as the weather gets chilly again!

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