Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegan MoFo! Post #8: Curried Split Pea & Chick'n Soup - Medicinal and Delicious

Curry contains a wealth of disease-fighting herbs and spices. I mean, below I offer a mere brush of the wonders these spices can offer. There is so much more and I encourage you to continue reading up on the many health benefits of curry!

Curcumin, found in tumeric, is thought to possibly help with arthritis and protect against heart disease and Alzheimer's. It may prevent colon cancer by reducing precancerous polyps [1], as well as other cancers, including cancers of the breast, blood, and stomach [2]. The way curcumin works to reduce or slow the growth of precancerous polyps as well as other precancerous masses is by inhibiting the enzyme aminopeptidase N (APN) [2]. Remember capsaicin, the natural substance that makes chili peppers hot? Well not only is capsaicin useful for fighting colds, but it's also helpful in reducing pain and increasing blood circulation [2]. Speaking of fighting colds, garlic is also thought to fight against cold and flu viruses [2] [3]. Cardamom and ginger are both useful in aiding digestion [2] [3].


C u r r i e d  S p l i t  P e a  &  C h i c k ' n  S o u p
adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance

Ingredients:
1 TB olive oil
1 can Companion brand mock meat in Curry Chicken*
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp red chili pepper flakes 
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon (I ground mine fresh, using a mortar & pestle)
a generous pinch cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
8 cups water
1 lb dried split peas
fresh cilantro for garnish

In a large pot, combine the 8 cups water and dried split peas. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn down heat to low. Allow to simmer until peas are softened (about 30 - 45 minutes).

In a pan, saute the onions in the olive oil until almost translucent. Add the celery, carrot, and red pepper and continue to saute until soft. Add the mock meat, garlic, ginger, spices, and salt, and saute on low heat for another five minutes or less.

Add the contents of the saute pan to the large pot. Stir together with the peas. Allow to simmer for at least another 15 minutes, but longer is better. I allowed mine to simmer for about 40 minutes.

Serve over jasmine rice, with fresh cilantro on top.

*If you cannot find Companion brand canned mock meats, any mock meat will suffice!

This is sold at my local Asian market.

Curried split pea soup over jasmine rice, garnished with fresh cilantro!

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