$8.00 3 lb chicken, bought at the local farmers market. It comes frozen, with gizzards and all.
$1.19 1 lb carrots
$1.69 1 package celery (about 10 stalks, probably a little over a pound)
$0.65 1/2 lb dry beans
$0.50 1 large onion
$0.20 bay leaf, clove of garlic, salt, pepper and other spices
$1.69 10 oz frozen package of peas or corn
$1.29 1 lb dry, whole grain rice
Folks, this is at least 8 quarts. In fact, Its overflowing. I'd recommend cooking the rice separately (in some of the chicken broth), and probably having a second pan for excess. In fact, it could be 12 quarts easy depending on the liquidity you're comfortable with (mine is pretty thick). The chicken itself takes up much of the 8 quart pan. I find myself having to de-bone it just to add the vegetables (I continue cooking the bones separately in another pan, and at the end pour the liquid back into the main pot).
Assuming that an average bowl = 1 pint: There are 2 pints/quart, so this is 16 bowls not counting the rice. That translates into about 8 meals for me, since I eat a hearty lunch.
This soup covers a lot of ground nutritionally:
- Naturally raised, free range chicken--that includes meat, some organs, bones for the broth
- Whole grain
- Legume (beans)
- At least 1 green and 1 non-green vegetable (at least 4 vegetables total)
- Spices, herbs, garlic
This is virtually complete nutrition. I would normally cook it with a large parsley root and tops, but I couldn't find prices on my investigative shopping trip tonight (we grow it in the garden), so I excluded it. You could easily substitute bread in place of the rice (bread machine!) or other vegetables, potatoes, without affecting the price much.
No MSG, no corn syrup derivatives, no fake sugar, no artificial nitrites, no aluminum-based baking powder. Its full of meat, hearty & satisfying in all ways, 100% ORGANIC and ridiculously cheap.
Its a myth that organic equals expensive. The same amount of meals at Chipotle or Subway would run you $45-65, and mine is $15.20.
A way to reduce the size of this recipe: Boil the chicken in some water to develop the broth, like normal. Then when you de-bone the chicken, put a lot of the meat away to use for other recipies and only return some of it back to the soup.