I was going to hold off on this one, but now that "food" and "crisis" are pretty much the only two words I hear hear/see/read in the news lately, it's time to throw together a pot of COPS. I think the total cost is about $4 and it feeds one person for an entire week of monotony. You will get so sick of it, but it's filling and healthy, and even tastes kind of good (I won't lie to you -- it's not delicious -- but I can't afford delicious and, according to all the alarmist news sources, neither can you). It's based on the recipe on the bag of Hurst's 15 Beans, but that recipe calls for a ham hock and a lemon. If you don't mind paying a whole dollar for just one lemon, go ahead and live it up. If you would rather put your dollar toward a forty-ounce to go with your bowl of poverty, follow my lead.
Recipe: Cream of Poverty Soup
1 bag of Hurst's 15-bean soup mix or Trader Joe's Bean and Barley Soup mix
a wee bit of oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 carton or 2 cans of chicken or vegetable broth (or, if you're really scaling down, use water)
1 28-oz. can tomatoes -- doesn't matter if they're whole, plum, diced. Buy whatever's on sale.
lots of salt and pepper
spices, only if you already have them: cumin, coriander, cayenne, and oregano are good in this
Soak beans overnight and drain the next day. Recipes always tell you to "sort" through dried beans, but I don't know what that means. They all look fine to me. Then, heat a wee bit of oil in a big pot and add onion. When onions are softish, add garlic. Cook a minute or so on medium heat and add the beans. Cook another few minutes and add the broth or water. Bring to a boil and add the tomatoes, and add spices if you are using them. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper before serving.