Serious Eats: Recipes

Eat for Eight Bucks: Chickpea Soup and Carrot Salad

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

2 cups dried chickpeas: $1.50
2 onions: $0.50
2 stalks celery: $0.20
1 loose carrot: $0.25
2 lemons: $1.50
Cilantro (pro-rated): $0.50
Baguette: $1.50
Bunch carrots: $2.19

Pantry items: Olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, ground cumin, dried chili pepper or chile flakes; optional ingredients, vegetable stock or bouillon powder, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds.

Total cost (for 6 portions): $8.14

I've gone fourteen cents over budget this week but am giving myself a pass, since this menu will reasonably feed not two, not four, but six people. A simple, filling spiced chickpea and lemon soup from Rose Bakery's Breakfast, Lunch, Tea is the centerpiece, and on the side you have some storebought bread and a simple salad of grated carrot dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, and garnished with pumpkin, cumin, and/or sesame seeds, if you like. (It's delicious with or without seeds).

Usually I just use water when a recipe calls for broth or water, but this time I used vegetable bouillon powder and thought it gave the soup a super-tasty kick in the pants. Although a bit of investigation revealed that the nutritional yeast extract in my bouillon powder might as well be MSG, as long as I stay headache-free I'll be going back to that little jar of umami.

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