This might be controversial, but hear me out.
I believe Vinegar is the easiest/bestish way (most simple/easiest for a new player) to power through achieving soft cap CP level. I've also done exceptionally well with leveling my cooking skill along with my CP with almost entirely pure Vinegar cooking (with the occasional grilled bird meat for Jetina accessory dailies)
Vinegar is extremely easy to cook, only requiring 1 fruit, 1 starch, 1 leavening agent , and 1 sugar.
The fruit can be any of the following: Strawberry, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Pear, Banana, and Pineapple. I personally use the Strawberry as it is purchasable through fruit vendors (I use Milano Belucci in Calpheon), i.e. no growing seeds or harvesting by hand nor putting preorders up on the central market and it is the cheapest purchasable fruit from fruit vendors. I don't know that many fruits go up for sale on the Central Market.
The starch can be any of the following: Potato, Corn, Barley, Sweet Potato, Wheat. I personally use all of these because every single one of the starches has a node that you can assign your workers to (with contribution points after you've unlocked the node) so you don't need to buy any from the central market nor farm them if you don't really want to and have time to just let workers do their own things. (This is assuming you've got a bit of a worker empire started; my apologies I don't have a good guide for that right now, but somethinglovely.net does have a nice map of all of the nodes. I'm not super 100% sure how up to date it is though right now). All of the starches are, however, usually available to be purchased from the Central Market.
The leavening agent and sugar are purchasable through a cook NPC in a major town for very cheap.
And that's all you need! It's incredibly easy to gather these materials and the recipe is very easy to input into the cooking utensil.
After you craft a good bit of vinegar you should see something called "Witch's Delicacies" begin to fill into your inventory. You'll save those to turn them into Liana near Fughar (at least in Velia) with the "Exchange" option. There is an option for Contribution and Cooking experience. You'll select that, however the other rewards are nice once you've hit softcap for CP (425 rn I believe), such as the Milk option.
This is NOT the most efficient way to purely level up Cooking by its self, nor will I claim that this is the ABSOLUTELY BEST DEFINITIVELY 100% way to get CP by its self. This is just simply my opinion as to what the easiest and the least pain/hassle free recipe there is is, and it'll help you with both Cooking experience as well as Contribution Points, AND you'll have left over Vinegar to make pickled veggies with, and if you're a fledgling cook you'll need to be imperial delivering LOTS of pickled veggies when you first start out!
Don't expect to get much profit though (if... err.. any?), if you just decide to sell the vinegar on the Central Market! Best to use it to make pickled veggies.
Thanks for reading y'all! Sorry if I sounded like an airhead!
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