Broke Soup


As an individual who just quit her full-time corporate job to become an artist, I understand the need for incredibly cheap food that isn’t a pot noodle and packet of pitta breads (not anymore, at least…). I’ve divided this recipe into handy price tiers so you can cook to your budget, and you can be assured that in any case you’ll end up with a comforting autumnal soup starting at £0.23 per portion. 

Serves 4.

Standard Recipe (£)

Total: £0.93 | £0.23 per portion

  • One onion, one leek, and one carrot (all roughly chopped)
  • One large potato (peeled and cubed)
  • Three whole garlic cloves
  • Water
  • Seasoning

Put all the veg and seasoning into a large pan and cover with water. Put the pan in the oven and cook for at least three hours on 100°. Alternatively, shove it in a slow cooker and leave on low all day.

If you’d like: Add a little bunch of fresh thyme and a bay leaf.

Fancy extras (££)

Total including fancy extras: £1.91 | £0.47 per portion

Add a small glass of white wine and 2 rashers of unsmoked bacon.


Cost Breakdown

Below is my cost breakdown for this recipe, including all of the extras. I’ve also included links at where to buy said ingredients at the quoted price. (Prices are all accurate as of 02/10/17.) I picked ASDA as it’s relatively inexpensive, but would recommend getting veg from market vendors. It’s more delicious and they’re more likely to give you delicious discounts if you ask nicely.

Disclaimer: All costs are approximate and have been calculated using average vegetable weights.

Standard Recipe (£)

Total: £0.93 | £0.23 per portion

£0.15 – One onion (200g)
£0.35 – Large leek (200g)
£0.25 – Large potato (250g)
£0.09 – One carrot (150g)
£0.09 – Three garlic cloves (based on average 10 cloves per bulb at 0.30p)
£0.00 – Water
£0.00 – Seasoning (assuming you have salt and pepper lying around)

Fancy extras:

Total including fancy extras: £1.91 | £0.47 per portion

£0.75 – 125ml glass of wine (based on a supermarket-own-brand wine at £4.50/75cl)
£0.23 – 200g of cooking bacon

If you’d like:

The perfect herbs to go with this would be thyme and a bay leaf. If you don’t have a kitchen garden (or garden of an obliging family member or neighbour) to plunder…

£0.15 – 5g of fresh thyme (based on one pre-cut pack at £0.60/20g)
£0.08 – One bay leaf (based on one pack at £0.89/7g)

£1.16 for ‘standard recipe’ + ‘if you’d like’ | £0.29 per portion
£2.14 for ‘standard recipe’ + ‘fancy extras’ + ‘if you’d like’ | £0.54 per portion