Hey, it’s the third installment of Cost Per Serving, where we try to find the most cheap and delicious meals to prepare at home!

I knew tonight’s meal was going to be winner.  I’ve made it before, so I know it’s both tasty and cheap.  It’s a carrot and pea soup with lots of ginger, garlic, and curry powder. And since it’s got a pound of dried split peas in it, the overall price is cheap. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s really healthy!

But health isn’t what this is about!

It’s called the Frugal-Deliciousness Spectrum for a reason. Nutritional content doesn’t matter. It just so happens that cooking cheaply at home lines up nicely with a healthy lifestyle. But trust me. Chocolate cake and cheeseburgers will be showing up in this series at some point.

Carrot and Lentils (1)

Ingredients for Curried Carrot and Split Pea Soup


Ingredient Cost Unit size price
1 tbsp Olive Oil $0.10 Liter for $6.99 at TJ's
6 Carrots $0.50 5 lb bag for $4
Onion $0.40 5 lb bag for $4
Garlic Clove $0.10 69 cents a head
1 tbsp ginger root $0.40 $2.99/lb
1 lb Yellow Split Peas $1.69 $1.69 per bag
1 tbsp Curry Powder $0.40 Estimate*
1 tsp Dried Mustard $0.25 $2.60 for 1.75 oz
6 Cups Stock $0.60 Cubes
3 tbsp Cider Vinegar $0.09 $.99 for 16 oz
Total $4.54
Servings 5
Cost Per Serving $0.91


Once again, Food & Wine does not have the recipe for this online.  But there are many comparable ones around, so you can get the gist of it. What’s nice is that it’s actually quick to prepare. Despite starting with dry split peas, it doesn’t take more than 45 minutes to make. No pre-soaking of the split peas required. And it keeps well for leftovers.

Deliciousness Rating: 7
(Where 1 is gross, 5 is good, and 10 is seared foie gras, yeah I said it, foie gras)

I’ll admit, this is a pretty good soup, and made a solid five servings.  But when going for my first day of soup leftovers, I found an old linguica in the back of the fridge.  It must not have been that old, since the Sell By date just passed this week.  Perfectly fine! So I cooked that up and in it went into the leftovers. That definitely kicked the Deliciousness up to 8, but it would also kick the Cost Per Serving up a shocking 41 cents to $1.32! Let’s throw it on the list anyway.

The standings so far:

Recipe Cost Per Serving Deliciousness
Curried Yellow Split Pea & Carrot Soup $0.91 7
Curried Pea & Carrot Soup with Linguica $1.32 8
Garden Vegetable Stew $1.61 4
Cod Chowder $2.03 7


* There is an old bag of curry powder in the cabinet. I do not know from whence it came.