Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Mexican Lemon Chickpea Soup

I tried this recipe for lunch, after taking a tip from Rachel Wilkerson, and using the spare time I had at breakfast. It reheats fine, though you should give it a stir as it might have started to separate.  I haven't tried freezing it yet, but it should be fine.

This recipe makes two to three portions of a delicious, filling, creamy, tangy soup.  It could easily be four portions, if served as a starter rather than alone.

Since I'm eating this alone, rather than with Anthony, you may notice a few differences, ie, no croutons and unbuttered (and un-vitalite-ed more, to the point) bread.

I also have a confession to make; I didn't do any shopping for this. I made it from things I already had in the cupboard, so, for prices, I used Tesco online. Which, incidentally, tried to tell me that breaded onion rings are fruit and/or vegetables. Oh Tesco, you so crazy.

My second confession is that, I did use olive oil, but after figuring out that olive oil costs almost twice as much per tablespoon, it's sunflower oil all the way for me now. You only use it for sautéing the onions and garlic, anyway. Your choice though. In a practical sense, it only adds a little over 2p to the total cost.

  • 1 Onion, diced (approx 24p each, Tesco) - 24p
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped (30p per bulb, Tesco) - 10p
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sunflower Oil (£1.58 per litre, Tesco) - 3p
  • 1 Drained Tin of Chickpeas (43p, Tesco) - 43p
  • Juice and Rind of One Lemon (35p each, Tesco) - 35p
  • 2 Vegetable Stock Cubes ( Oxo, 99p for two boxes of twelve, 99p store) - 9p
Total - £1.24 for three portions, 83p for two, or 41p for one.

  1. Fry chopped onion and garlic in oil, until browned.
  2. Add drained chickpeas, and sauté for one minute.
  3. Dissolve stock cubes in 1 1/2 pints of water, and add to saucepan.  Simmer for five minutes.  Add the lemon rind and juice.
  4. Pour into a blender, and blend till smooth. 

10 vegetable stock cubes.
985ml of sunflower oil.
2/3 of a bulb of garlic.

Make it Better/Cheaper
  • Buy the onions, garlic and lemon elsewhere.  Try a farmer's market, or the rag market.
  • Add bottled lemon juice to taste, rather than use an actual lemon (Tesco bottled lemon juice is 44p for 250ml, so 6p for approximately two tablespoons).
  • Add croutons.  Croutons are yummy.  When I reheated a portion for lunch the next day, I ate it with 1/5 of a pack of Lidl's Rivercote Garlic and Herb croutons (99p), which worked out to about 20p.  You could make your own, by brushing bread with oil, rub with garlic (which you then slice to make the soup), and scattering with mixed herbs before toasting under the grill.
Note that I am not tagging this as 'under £1', since it's not as filling without the addition of bread or something else to go with it.  Anthony wouldn't eat this alone as one course, though I might, if I weren't too hungry.

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