This week's $5 meal is tortilla soup. It starts with chicken.
1 whole chicken--on sale $0.99/lb--$3
water to cover
salt, pepper, onion, celery to flavor (whatever you have limp in the fridge)
2 tsp. oil--$0.10
1 onion, chopped--on sale $0.79/lb--$0.25
1-3 jalapenos, chopped (to taste)
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped--$0.15
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes--approx $1.50
4 ears corn, cut from the cob--on sale 4/$1--$1
2 tsp. cumin
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper
cheese, for serving--on sale $1.03/2 cups--$0.52
sour cream, for serving--on sale $1.77/24 oz--$0.44
avocado, for serving--$1
cilantro, for serving--approx $0.50/bunch--$0.25
lime, for serving--$0.25
chips, for serving (use the bottom of the bag)--$0.50
Cook chicken in water seasoned with salt, pepper, celery, and onion. Once chicken is done (about 45 minutes), remove from broth, allow to cool, and take meat off the bones. (I did this in the crockpot overnight.) Meanwhile, saute the onion, jalapeno, and garlic together in the oil. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, corn, and chicken. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes or so. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime over the top.
note---using a whole chicken makes it a pretty chicken-y meal. You can certainly use less chicken (about half the time, I use half of the meat from a chicken). Your husband won't love you quite as much, but it's still good. You can also do beans instead of meat, and this soup easily adapts to extra vegetables (zuchinni anyone??).
And, in an easy on the cook twist, this meal is really filling and needs no side dishes.
Total cost--$8.96 (8 servings) or $4.48 (4 servings)