A few weeks ago we decided to make ratatouille because after watching the Remy the rat make it so many times, it really looked good (as far as cartoon food goes, anyway…). I tried a couple different versions all at the same time since I had purchased WAY too many vegetables and went crazy in the organic section at Wegmans. My favorite version was the leftover soup I made from it, however, so tonight I set out to just make the soup and to make it MUCH cheaper. I’m sorry but $8 for 4 scrawny zucchini is just insane.
I bought the fresh ingredients at Aldi tonight instead and paid $5.27 for 2 eggplants and 4 green zucchini. I had onions at home as well as tomato paste and canned tomatoes. It was just as good and less than half the price as my original version. It was also a lot less work because we weren’t trying to make ridiculously skinny slices of vegetables to make them “pretty.” My tomato paste costs $.99 each (organic) and my canned peeled tomatoes were about $3 (actually it was free because I ordered it through Wholeshare and one of the cans was so severely dented it had to be thrown out so they credited my whole order of canned tomatoes!) I had roughly 1/2 of a boxed container of Wegmans’ chicken broth ($1).
So for a total of about $8.26 ($11.26 if you count the free canned tomatoes) I made enough to have 3 bowls tonight plus enough for 4 lunches in my glass reusable containers at about 2 cups each. It was a FULL 4 quart pot of soup. If you only ate 1 cup at a time as a serving it would go much further. I make it my whole meal with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I’m sure you could make this even cheaper if you didn’t have to worry about your chicken broth being gluten free or you made it yourself. Tomato paste is also cheaper if it’s not organic and so are regular canned tomatoes. I have read numerous times that organic tomatoes have more lycopene so I am willing to pay a little more for them when I can. I usually buy in bulk to get the best price.
1 onion diced, sautéed in butter
4 medium zucchini halved and sliced. Add to onions and cover with lid.
2 small/medium eggplant, diced. Add to the above veggies.
Add 1/2 carton Wegmans Chicken broth and bring to a simmer
Slice or crush one 28 oz. can of whole peeled Roma tomatoes in tomato puree (what your child doesn’t eat out to the can, anyway) and add to veggies. Stir.
Add 2 4 oz containers of tomato paste. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
I allowed this to simmer on low heat for about 2 hours.
Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan or asiago cheese. Add some crusty bread if you can eat it. I bet some good Italian loaf would be fantastic with this. Alas, not for this celiac 🙁
This did not require any additional seasoning. The vegetables speak for themselves in a delightful way!