It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the busiest! If you’re like us, your calendar has been packed with holiday parties, and you’re filling in spare moments with making lists and checking them twice. To be honest, cooking everyday meals often feels like the last thing we want to do in the days leading up to Christmas.
But tonight, we’re making our new favorite soup. It’s both comforting and nourishing. The chickpeas pack a protein punch and add a creamy texture to the soup (which gives it a stick-to-your-bones feel without piling on the calories). And while it takes a little time for the flavors come together, it’s mostly simmer time after a quick veggie saute (perfect fuel for a night of wrapping presents).
We hope you enjoy it, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely chopped, plus celery leaves if available
1 T. all-purpose flour
2, 14-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from other half of lemon)
1 t. grated lemon zest
4.5 oz. whole-wheat tortellini (1/2 package)
1/2 c. half and half, fat-free
Salt and Pepper to taste
A good handful of fresh basil or parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
Heat a large skillet or soup pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and celery leaves, covered, until soft and colorless, about 15 minutes.
Add flour and stir constantly until flour is light brown, 1-2 minutes.
Add chickpeas, broth, rosemary, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until the chickpeas are soft.
Remove half the chickpeas with a slotted spoon, and purée the soup in a blender, through a food mill, or with an immersion blender. Return the purée and reserved chickpeas to the pot, and add the tortellini, cooking until pasta is tender.
Stir in half and half, and season to taste with salt and pepper and the lemon juice. Serve with parsley or basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.