I don't have children, so my recipes are small. But this is my most recent favorite. I make it on a hot plate in my room so I would think anyone could make it on a stove with no problems. It's perfect on a cold day. It's also a scaled down (way scaled down) version from my childhood, so it's technically QF and belongs on this blog. (smile)
2 cans of beef broth
1/4 cup barley
1/4 cup lentils
1-2 chopped carrots
1-2 stalks of chopped celery
If you have garlic, toss that in to suit your taste.
1 potato, chopped
I season the pot with a little oil and cook down the onion and garlic. Add your broth and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and barley, cook for fifteen minutes or so. Add potato and cook for five minutes. Add the veggies and cook until tender. I don't know if it comes in under $2, but it's tasty and filling.