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.