amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well


POSTED ON October 27, 2017

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Over the past six months or so I’ve been focusing on increasing protein in my diet. Being a vegetarian my whole life I never felt like my meals were lacking protein or that it was difficult to get enough into my daily diet—I’ve always loved beans and tempeh and the occasional eggs. However, when I took an honest look at how much I was eating a daily, I realized my protein intake could do with some improvement.  I discovered when I started keeping track that the challenge in getting enough protein wasn’t happening when I had time to prepare balanced meals.  The shortage arose when meal prep needed to be quick. For people who like replacing their meals with smoothies, this isn’t so hard.  But, if you’re like me and want something savory, grounding and warming then this soup is for you. It’s as easy and filling as a high protein smoothie, yet it really is a soup. The secret for making it not taste like a savory green smoothie is to lightly steam the greens and leeks before blending them with cooked chickpeas and soaked almonds. The almonds and chickpeas give the soup a good amount of body and creaminess, as well as make it extremely satisfying.

One trick I’ve been using to increase protein has been to keep a jar of cooked and drained chickpeas in the fridge. When freshly cooked (preferably in a pressure cooker) they have a rich, creamy texture and tasty sweet flavor, even when plain. I grab handfuls to snack on and toss them into salads, bowls of steamed vegetables and simple vegetable soups. Of course they taste amazing marinated or mashed, but sometimes that even seems like too much trouble.

Many of you know how much I love pressure cookers as they really are the secret to a creamy bean interior with an intact shape. Because the pot is closed, all the naturally sweet flavors are trapped inside, which results in a very tasty bean, with an almost sweet flavor. I’ve been using a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker for over 20 years and I’m yet to find a more reliable or better quality pressure cooker.


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Makes 5 cups| Serves 3 to 4


½ cup whole raw almonds, soaked overnight in 2 cups filtered water

1 cup sliced leeks

6 cups chopped greens, I used a mixture of kale and collard greens

3 cups boiling water

½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chickpea miso, optional

½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

¼ large garlic clove

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, if desired

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Drain and rinse almonds, and place them in an upright blender. Add leeks to a steamer basket and spread out over bottom. Top with greens and steam for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Check that leeks have softened and don’t taste raw. Add to blender with almonds and pour in boiling water, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, miso (if using), salt and garlic. Blend until smooth, taste for salt, add black pepper and blend again. You can add more water if mixture is too thick.  Pour into bowls or cups and serve immediately. Soup will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, warm leftovers gently as you don’t want to cook the miso. It also tastes pretty good at room temperature if you’re eating it on the go.


POSTED IN cleanse, Gluten free, Soup

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  • Natalia says:

    What is chickpea miso?

  • Annique says:

    Hi Amy!
    I just made this and it’s so good! Creamy and flavorful and a great way to pack in the greens. I always feel like I’m skipping over collard greens at the market because I don’t know what to do with them. so it was nice to finally pick up a bunch and make them into this vibrant soup.

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Annique!

      I’m so happy to read your comment. Collards can be hard to use but when they’re fresh like they are at the moment, they’re tender and delicious.
      Enjoy the soup!


  • Barbara Koverchuk says:

    Hi Amy,
    Thank you for this oh so easy delicious soup. I loved it and also had trouble using collard greens as found them chewy. Not any more. Barb

  • thesmallviking says:

    Commented on instagram, and reporting back here. This was great – just the right balance of spices to make it complete. We’ve been moving into a renovation zone and this was the first meal cooked in our new kitchen. A perfect detox to the burritos and prepared meals of the last few weeks! Next up will likely be your red lentil – my other detox go to 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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