Thank you to everyone who has been complimentary about my new book. I really appreciate it. I have always been conscious of the importance of what we eat. But over the years this has become a much bigger issue than it was when I began work as a chef. When I was working with the First One Thousand Days programme I spent time with nutritionists and, while I will never have their detailed expertise, I trust some of the conversations rubbed off on me. At the very least, they spurred me on to focus more on the health aspects of our food. And I do believe there is no healthier way than cooking it yourself with the best produce you can get your hands on.

These Spanish meatballs can be made a day ahead and will taste even better. Haricot or cannellini beans would also work well for this dish, as would minced turkey. I enjoy butterbeans as their soft, floury texture is very satisfying. This orzo soup is a favourite of mine. I like the rice-shaped pasta and it is very popular in soups in Italy. Flavourful stock, fresh-cooked chicken, root vegetables, and noodles make a classic chicken soup and every country has its own version. This one tastes great and it is good for you.