Curry powder has already achieved blockbuster status as a powerful anti-inflammatory food and thanks to a study it looks like this flavorful spice blend may also be helpful for fighting infections. Scientists discovered that curcumin, the plant chemical that gives curry powder and turmeric (a spice in curry powder) their vivid golden yellow color, significantly boosts levels of an important immune protein called CAMP. Our immune systems produce CAMP to ward off harmful viruses and bacteria. To give the curry powder in your dishes an additional boost, be sure to add some black pepper. Black pepper contains a chemical called piperine that enhances the adsorption of curcumin in the GI tract. (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, May 2012)
Serves 4 plus
This is a yummy cold weather soup and a delicious way to get in curry, carrot’s, and tomato’s immune boosting power!
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb carrots, cut into ½ in rounds
1 lb yellow tomatoes (red plum will work fine), cut into quarters
2 ½ tbsp curry powder
3 (more if necessary) cups vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
¼ cup basil, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened – about 5 minutes. Add curry, tomatoes, carrots, and season with salt. Cook over medium heat until carrots are just tender, stirring and scraping bottom of pan frequently. Add broth and bring to just a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt and cilantro. Puree in food processor or blender (if too thick add more broth). Reheat and serve, topping the soup with the basil.
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