Tomato, Basil & Chickpea Soup

The final product.
The final product.

A warm bowl of hearty soup is all I dream of in winter, and this soup is on my list of perfect winter dishes. It is filling, tasty and nutritious, without being heavy and filled with unnecessary nasties.

Cooked tomato is rich in lycopene, which counteracts the damaging effects of UV light and helps prevent skin cancer. I got this recipe from Good Health Magazine, but to make it just a little bit healthier, use all organic ingredients, fresh tomatoes (to avoid the chemicals in aluminium cans), use homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you would like a vegetarian/vegan version) and prepare your own soaked chickpeas (again, avoiding chemicals).

Tomato, Basil and Chickpea Soup

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 stick celery, chopped 3 cups salt reduce chicken stock 1 cup water 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes 1/3 cup chopped basil 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 100g baby spinach

Method: 1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Added chopped onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften, without browning. 2. Add the stock, water and tomatoes. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Add the basil. Cook for 6-8 minutes before removing from the heat and cooling slightly. Puree with handheld blender or food processor. 3. Return to the heat and add the chickpeas. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the baby spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, then spoon into bowls. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Serves 4.

And just a note to all you die-hard followers (I am sure there are plenty of you out there...), I have mid-year exams at school this week, so if my posts stop I would like to apologise in advance. I am either studying like a demon or calming myself in child's pose!

Have a wonderful week,

Erica xx