2 cups cooked lentils (cook them according to package directions) ($0.50)
3 cups hot water ($0.01)
3 chicken bouillon cubes ($0.05)
1 clove garlic, minced ($0.03)
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped ($0.09)
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch rounds ($0.10)
Saute garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil ($0.12) over medium heat ($0.01) 2-3 minutes. Add chopped carrot and jalapeno, cook another 2-3 minutes or until carrot begins to soften.
Add lentils, water, and bouillon, 1/2 tsp. salt ($0.001), 1/4 tsp. pepper ($0.002), 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.09) and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.01). Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you've got leftover $$$ to spend, splurge on a crispy slice of bacon crumbled over the soup ($0.15) with a little bit of feta cheese ($0.25) to boot.
Makes 3 or 4 main dish servings ... not bad for 91 cents. Or $1.31, if you're a big spender.
The only advice I have in the making of this soup is this: do not rub your eyes or touch your eyelids or bring your fingers anywhere close to the eyes during the making of this soup or the following 4 hours. Jalapeno residue is long lasting.