Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cooking to Combat Cancer 2 - Sweet Potato, Pasta and Leek Soup

Chris from Mele Cotte is hosting Cooking to Combat Cancer 2 to promote awareness and prevention of cancer. She is seeking healthy recipes utilising ingredients that combat cancer.

I admit that I had to do some research for this event. I had heard of anti-oxidants and "super foods", but wasn't entirely sure what foods fell into this category and what you could make with them.

After some reading, I learned that orange and yellow foods help to combat cancer. After searching through my recipe books, I found a great recipe for Sweet Potato, Pasta and Leek Soup in the Australian Heart Foundation's Deliciously Healthy. The key ingredient in this hearty soup is sweet potato (kumara), an orange food, which helps to combat cancer because it contains anti-oxidants - namely, beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Anti-oxidants work by neutralising free radicals in the body, which damage cells and cell membranes, in turn triggering cells to become cancerous.

The soup contains saffron. I was in luck, because my wonderful friend Ivy from Kopiaste recently sent me a parcel all the way from Greece which contained ouzo, gum mastic and Greek red saffron. I therefore was able to use some of Ivy's saffron in this soup - thanks Ivy!

To make this soup, you will need:

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 thinly sliced leeks
a pinch of saffron
1kg peeled and chopped orange sweet potato
1 litre chicken stock
a cinnamon stick
1 bouquet garni
100g macaroni, cooked
chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Cook the leeks in the oil in a large saucepan until soft. Next, add the sweet potato and saffron to the pot and cook for around 5 minutes. Add the stock, cinnamon and bouquet garni, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for half an hour. Discard the cinnamon stick and bouquet garni, and puree the mixture in small batches until smooth. Place the puree back in the saucepan with the cooked pasta and reheat the mixture. Add water to the soup if it is too thick (I needed to add about a cup of water). Serve the soup garnished with a dollop of yoghurt and some chopped chives.

Thanks to Chris for hosting this event, and do check Chris's site for the roundup here.


Finla said...

Soup look delicious and creamy

Susan @ SGCC said...

That soup looks delicious. I'll have to make it on a night when I'm on my own as no one else here will eat sweet potatoes. Boo!

This was a great idea for a blog event!

Silvia - Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Even this one sooo good! And it's a great idea to collect healthy recipe ..because it's true ..we have to take care of our body.
it's our duty

Unknown said...

This looks wonderful! Anything with sweet potato is top in my book. Thanks for participating in CCC2!

Rosie said...

This is a great cause for a blog event. Cancer seems to touch my families! I enjoyed learning and reading about orange and yellow foods helping combat cancer. Your soup certainly ticks that box and it really is a beautiful colour. Awe isn't that sweet of Ivy to send over some saffron :)

Rosie x

Peter M said...

Cake, I have the exact packette of Saffran Kozanis too!

Use it sparingly, it's a good quality saffran...a little goes a long way.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I think leeks add incredible flavor to soups. I just made an artichoke soup with leeks that I plan to post on. I'm so glad to see this delicious entry for Chris's event. She is s real sweetheart.

Pixie said...

I wasn't aware of yellow and orange food helping to combat cancer- thanks for that bit of info. I really want to participate in this event-hope I'll come up with something this week.

Lore said...

Another intriguing flavour combo! Since I very much like soup I will have to try this one. I also hope to participate at this event since some ideas I have are struggling hard to materialize.

Anonymous said...

I love the combination of flavors in your delicious soup, Cakelaw :)

Cakespy said...

This looks healthy for the heart and body...and still good for the belly! It helps combat cancer!? All the better!!

Emily said...

Cakelaw, that is so weird. I was just thinking about making a sweet potato soup. I've never had one though. This looks great.
I should look into this event. I think there may be another even similar to this one.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Happy Cook, it was surprisingly good - I would make this again.

Hi Susan, that's a shame - they don't know what they are missing.

Hi Sylvia, I am often not as good as I should be - I doubt I get my 5 serves of veges any day. But with recipes like this, there is no excuse.

Thanks Chris - your event is a superb idea, and I can't wait to see the roundup.

Hi Rosie, Ivy is sweet. I try the gum mastic next!

Hi Peter, I have never used real saffron before so I may have got carried away this time - but noted for the remainder.

Hi Susan, yes, the leeks add a lovely subtle onion-like flavour.

Hi Pixie, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Hi Lore, I struggled a little before doing some quick research too - but it is surprising the number and variety of foods that are actually good for us on the anti-cancer front.

Thanks Maryann - a big bowl is reserved for you ;)

Hey Cakespy, I'm with ya!

Hi Emiline, I look forward to seeing your soup - I loved this sweet potato soup, so I would be happy to try another recipe using it.

Abitofafoodie said...

What a delicious and nourishing soup this is - delicious, I am sure. I just love sweet potatoes. And I had no idea that organge and yellow foods were cancer-combating - good to learn something new!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Antonia, I had no idea either until I researched it for this event. I am very happy that sweet potato is good for you, because I love it!

adele said...

Oooh. This sounds like a great winter-to-spring transition recipe - warm enough to combat the evening chill without being heavy.

Ivy said...

Hi Cakelaw, sorry I haven't been around lately. Your soup looks so creamy and delicious. Hope you enjoyed it.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, it was good - thanks so much for the saffron!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Adele, agreed!

Mary said...

Your soup looks so fantastic and yummy. I would never have thought to add saffron to sweet potatoes!

Fitness Foodie said...

Wow that soup looks like it has a nice creamy texture. Flavors sound amazing.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Mary - it is a very yummy soup with health benefits - who woulda thought?

Thanks Parker - the key is in the pureeeing.