I have to say, most of my soups are made without a recipe. In fact, they are usually a concoction of miscellaneous leftovers and a few staples, which makes it one of the cheapest meals I make. This time of year, I try to whip up some type of soup or other early in the week for the kids and me to eat on for lunches (my hubby is generally not into soups). If you really want to make your own soup and make it very, very cheap, all you need to know is the basics of soup making and how to alter it to your own taste.
Here are some general steps for soup making:
1. Saute diced onion, carrot, and celery in a little oil in the bottom of a stock pan until tender. (Also peppers and garlic, if using).
2. Add in the liquids. This is usually some type of combination of broth and water, or tomato sauce if making a tomato-based soup.
3. Add in additional vegetables and meat.
4. Bring soup to a boil.
5. Cover and simmer 1/2 hour or longer.
6. Add in starches, if using toward the end of the simmer time.
7. Add in cream or cheese, if using.
8.Taste and season with appropriate amount of salt and pepper.
9. Garnish and serve.
Now I know this sounds a little complicated, but the method works for almost all homemade soups and stews. I'll follow up with a homemade soup recipe using this method. Experiment a little and see what you can do from scratch!