Here's my easiest, cheapest, everybody-likes-it-est recipe.
Grandma Carolyn's Vegetable Soup
1 bag of carrots (6 or 8 or 10 carrots, whatever you've got), peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
1b can crushed tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup barley
6 vegetable bullion cubes
4 cups water
Throw it all in a pot and cook til the carrots are soft - about 40 minutes to an hour.