With resolutions to eat healthier in 2020, nutritional therapist Amelia Freer's new book Simply Good For You couldn't have come at a better time. The pleasingly pastel book comes complete with 100 easy to make recipes, designed for people who are too busy to follow complicated recipes with elaborate ingredients lists.
The recipes were intended to be realistic to make any night of the week, and Amelia's chickpea soup recipe, or Soup For The Soul, as she calls is the midweek soup we've all been asking for.
"This is my plant-based version of the classic chicken and lemon soup," says Amelia. "Here, chickpeas provide the protein and give a deliciously thick and creamy texture. It will thicken in the fridge, so just warm it up and stir well, to serve. The lemon lends a refreshing lift, perfect for a chilly summer or early autumn evening."
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
One onion, peeled and roughly chopped
One clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
One carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
One litre chicken or vegetable stock (I use half and half)
Zest and juice of one lemon
Roasted chickpeas* (optional)
A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley
In a large non-stick saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until soft. Do not let them brown.
Add the carrots and cook for a further five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables catching. Add a little water if needed.
Add the chickpeas, mix well, then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for ten minutes.
Add the lemon zest and juice, and blend until smooth – either cool for ten to 15 minutes and blend with a stick blender, or cool completely if using a blender or food processor.
Reheat gently or cool before serving as desired. Serve sprinkled with the roasted chickpeas, chilli flakes, if using, and chopped parsley.
*To make roasted chickpeas, drain and rinse tin of chickpeas. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil (and two teaspoons), sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a small baking tray for ten to 20 minutes in a preheated oven (200 degrees C/ 180 fan)
Recipe taken from Simply Good For You by Amelia Freer (Michael Joseph, £13.85)
Images: Susan Bell