Vegan with a Vengeance took its turn in my cookbook roster this week. I've had this book for close to five years and I'm at the point now where I've tried almost everything that doesn't feature cauliflower or cooked cabbage (pretty much the only two vegetables that I don't like). There was one lonely little pink sticker still poking out of it and it pointed to this recipe for a warming split pea soup.
It couldn't have worked out better, because I am on a pretty serious curry kick these days. I'm always into curry, but the last month or so I've noticed that it's pretty much all I want. I want to eat it. I want my house to smell like it. I want to pour the powder on the floor and roll around in it.
Nevermind that last point. Because that would be an unforgivable waste of curry powder.
Luckily curry loves my body (and your body!) as much as I love it. Curry is thought to have some serious cancer fighting properties, in thanks to its main component: turmeric. An active component of turmeric is an antioxidant called curcumin and it is thought to protect vital organs, particularly the colon, from free radical damage. There is also some evidence of it destroying already-existing cancer cells within the body and on a molecular level, it can even interfere with the way cancer grows and spreads throughout the body. Studies have shown that people who frequently consume turmeric have lower rates of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancers.
If cancer doesn't terrify you like it does me but you happen to experience joint pain or arthritis, adding more turmeric to your diet could mean the relief you've been searching for. In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, the curcumin found in turmeric is also a powerful anti-inflammatory - one that you can't accidentally overdose on and has zero side effects (unless you call deliciousness and post-meal-satisfaction a side effect).
Turmeric also gives things a vibrant yellow/orange colour and goes a long way in making a blah meal aesthetically pleasing. Besides, how else would I have mimicked Paul's favourite cake from his pregan days - Betty Crocker boxed yellow cake? Yes, that's turmeric in a birthday cake. That's also turmeric in the Lemon Mousse pie Paul just made, too. No, you can't taste it.
Turmeric is my best friend. I buy it from my favourite Indian grocer, in bags the size of my head.
I also buy it in the form of curry powder. When it comes to curry powder, quality does matter and you do notice a difference between brands. But if I'm no where near a specialty store, I'm not above buying a no-name pack of curry at the supermarket. Still good. Just not as good.
This soup features tons of other delicious elements in conjunction with the curry power - ginger, coriander, cardamom, cumin - each with its own unique flavour and suspected healing properties. This is a perfect soup to curl up with now that the cold weather is upon us.
In addition to the Vegan with a Vengeance book, you can find a digital copy of this recipe here.
I was going to wait until Boxing Day to pick up these adorable Christmas bowls at half price, but there were only a couple left and I was terrified they would be sold out by then. My obsession with buying random plates and bowls is starting to get a bit out of control.