Beans are the chubby grad’s best friend: they are cheap, chock full of protein and fiber, and easy to cook (just open a can…no, I am not a purist who uses dried beans).  I found this recipe for black bean soup in my Healthy College Cookbook when I was looking for a mid-week dinner that I could prepare in 30 minutes or less.  It is shockingly delicious, considering how basic the ingredients are and how easy it was to make.  Putting half of the soup in the blender gives the broth a nice brown color, while still maintaining some of the beans for added texture.  Serve it with a dollop of low fat sour cream to make it extra rich! 

Ingredients   Cost
1 T. oil   pantry
1 medium onion, chopped   $0.15
3 garlic cloves, minced $0.10
2 15-oz. cans black beans $1.60
3 1/2 c. water
1 c. chopped green pepper   $0.70
salt and pepper to taste pantry
sour cream for topping $0.50
                                                Total cost (4 servings) $3.05
                                                Cost per serving $0.76

Heat the oil in a medium pot and sauté garlic, onions, and green pepper until soft.  Add the beans and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove pot from burner and let cool briefly.  Transfer half of the soup to a blender or food processor.  Once smooth, return to soup pot and heat to serving temperature.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with sour cream on top.