What if I told you you could feed 6-8 people a delicious, nutritious, healthy and comforting soup for under $5 in a time of severe inflation? What if I also told you it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, keto, paleo and vegan? You don’t have to believe me but seeing (and tasting) is believing so prepare yourself for a sensational 4-ingredient Five Dollar Vegetable Soup on the most delicious budget ever!
Bonus: It is as quick and easy to make as it is cheap.
Extra Bonus: I lost 10 pounds eating it. This is truly the soup that keeps on giving.
The Five Dollar Ingredients
I am so serious about showing you this soup won’t cost more than 5 bucks that I took a field trip to the supermarket to prove it! I went to a ShopRite in Northern New Jersey. (You also may very well have all these ingredients in your kitchen, spring you a trip to the market but I love me a fun field trip)!
Better Than Bouillon is the most economical and flavorful soup base on the market.
Better Than Bouillon is a concentrate generally sold in 8-ounce jars (they have larger sizes at Costco) with a huge variety of flavors. An 8-ounce jar will make 38 cups of broth (1 teaspoon of it + 1 cup water = 1 cup of broth). It will also last for about a year and a half in the fridge once opened! So $4.99 for 38 cups of broth = about $.13 per cup of broth made. That means 6 cups of broth will only come to about $.80!
Better Than Bouillon is usually almost always cheapest in the market, but it’s also available online and comes in a large variety of flavors.
Now for the tomatoes. Canned tomato products are generally offered at some of the best and lowest prices in the whole supermarket – especially if using the store brand.
Tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce) is what provides a huge surge of flavor for this soup and it can be almost always be found at $.99 for a 15-ounce can!
The same goes for diced tomatoes. You can usually find a huge variety of them – some petite, some regular; some with seasonings added, some plain. There are even no-salt added varieties. Whichever you choose, like tomato sauce, a 14.5-ounce can will generally run you no more than $.99
Frozen veggies in the supermarket are another gift from the budget Gods – and that’s especially fitting for a vegetable soup!
Five Dollar Vegetable Soup. PROVEN.
So let’s tally it up and have some fun with a little mathematics:
$.80 for broth + $.99 for tomato sauce + $.99 for diced tomatoes + $1.76 for veggies = $4.54 to feed up to 8 people! (I was off with my math above by 2 cents because I rounded up the two cans of tomato products to $1.00). Did I tell you this recipe was a meal on a deal or what?!
Cooking The Soup
The Taste Test
Five Dollar Vegetable Soup
What if I told you you could feed 6-8 people a delicious, nutritious, healthy and comforting soup for under $5 in a time of severe inflation? What if I also told you it's dairy-free, gluten-free, keto, paleo and vegan? You don't have to believe me but seeing (and tasting) is believing so prepare yourself for a sensational 4-ingredient vegetable soup on the most delicious budget ever! Bonus: I lost 10 pounds eating it. This is truly the soup that keeps on giving.
The Five Dollar Soup (See Jeff's Tips)
- 6 cups vegetable broth (Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base is by far the most cost efficient, flavorful, lasting. I use 6 teaspoons of it + 6 cups water)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (any variety), with their juices
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce - you can also use two 8-ounce cans)
- 16-32 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
- Pasta, cooked separately according to package instructions (a small pasta such as ditalini, mini shells or tortellini is suggested)
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Any additional seasonings you enjoy, to taste
- Add the four soup ingredients to the Instant Pot (see Jeff's Tips) and stir. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Pressure Cook or Manual for 1 minute. Quick release when done.
- Serve the soup as is (it's deliciously light and healthy) or, if desired, add some hot sauce, Parmesan and/or any additional seasonings you have on hand to taste. If you cooked pasta, add it to the bowl upon serving.
This recipe totally doesn't need to be done in an Instant Pot! To make it on a stove, just follow the same steps as above, add to a soup pot and cook at medium high heat until heated through.
Better Than Bouillon is usually almost always cheapest in the market, but it's also available online and comes in a large variety of flavors.
If you want the soup to be low sodium, use reduced sodium broth and no-salt added diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. You can always add salt and season to taste in Step 2 before serving.
Use literally any type of vegetable you wish. It doesn't need to be a bag of frozen mixed. Any you prefer or want to accommodate your lifestyle will do.
I suggest using at least 16 ounces of frozen veggies and up to 32 ounces. You can always start with less and add more - the choice is yours!
Not Keto love. Has high carb veggies…corn & peas.
Keto is 50 carbs per day or lower. This soup is just fine. 😉
it just lists frozen mixed veggies. you can use any you like to meet the keto requirement. like zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, asparagus, whatever you enjoy
Just change choice of vegetables for more “keto” friendly
He didn’t say it was Keto – besides, a Keto diet is horrible for your kidneys.
How would I adapt this to include beef stew meat?
It looks like you’re doing more budget friendly recipes. I love it! Question about your weight loss: how often did you eat the soup and did you do anything else with it to lose the weight? You look great, by the way. Congratulations!
Thank you! Moderation and not eating too late.
Larry G. Wapnitsky
unfortunately, better than bullion is no longer gluten free. according to the website it is made in a facility that processes gluten. this used to be one of my favorite ingredients until my son was diagnosed with celiac
Jeffrey A Rapiey
This is an awesome recipe. Living in southeastern Pennsylvania and being really close to the Jersey/Maryland shore, when I viewed this I thought that if you added some Old Bay seasoning and some crabmeat, you have classic Maryland style crab soup.
I’m so glad you liked it!
Hi Jeffrey! I am making this soup right now and wondering what is the time to come to pressure. I didn’t see that and you always put it in the total time. Also, I have now made over 50 of your recipes and they have all been AMAZING! I am excited for your next cook book too as I own all the others!
Wow! I am so honored – thank you!
Love the simplicity and inexpensiveness of the IP vegetable soup. Any other one pot simple recipes?
I would add 16 oz of vegetable juice instead of tomato sauce. Extra flavour!
What about adding black beans or cannellini beans?
Looks good. If you added the pasta to the pot with everything else and cooked for say 5 minutes, would that work? Or would it break down too much?
Enjoying the orange book I received as a gift. I love making soups in the Instant Pot.
This looks exactly like the soup that my grandmother used to make, but hers also had small cubed potatoes in it… do you have any suggestions for that addition?
Love this soup and give it 5 stars as is, but I add chopped cabbage before cooking because I grew up with cabbage in our vegetable soup. And, hello! Cabbage! I also like cubed potatoes in veggie soup but don’t like them frozen and I like to freeze individual servings of soup. No problem. Nuke a small to medium potato til done, cube and add to soup. Love your recipes Jeffrey.
After cooking, I added approx. 2 tablespoons of Better than bouillon Italian Herb. Just the right amount of seasoning.
I added a little salt and Italian seasoning, but there are so many ways to dress up this recipe if you want. Delicious and couldn’t be easier!
Weight Watchers had something similar. How about revamping their broccoli soup that was made with Rotel. Keep ’em coming. You have started America slimming down. What a role model you have become 🙂
Good and adaptable.
Easy to adapt for Garbage Day Eve (Use it or loose it day). Instead of frozen vegies, I used the ones I had planned to cook with but didn’t. I also adapted it for my 3Qt pot.
This soup was so quick and easy to make … and so delicious!!! Thanks Jeffrey!