Buttered Fish Broth - Low-FODMAP recipe

Thankfully butter is low-FODMAP and I feel no fear about throwing it into my food at the slightest opportunity. If you are a ghee advocate then do please substitute for the butter. The benefit of this dish is that it does not require a fish stock. As the hot water reduces it almost emulsifies with the butter to turn it a delicate, primrose yellow. The flavour will intensify as it reduces. As an addendum, I have made this with a frozen fish portions putting the frozen fish straight into the water. I can’t say it has altered the flavour at all, but it has made my life easier when I’ve forgotten to defrost any fish! I’ve given you the recipe for 2 portions, as I’ve realised not all of you are feeding a family of four, but you can easily multiply the recipe. I serve this on its own for a light meal or in a bowl over rice for a main meal, (see picture for both options). If you can find some good low-FODMAP crusty bread, it works as a delicious mop for the yellowy broth. 

In light of the news of vegetable shortages, I've had to rethink this month's recipes! If you cannot find baby spinach, look for some homegrown perpetual spinach. It will need a good wash, tough stems removing and a slightly longer cooking time but will still be terrifically good for you.

Right-hand bowl is without rice, left-hand bowl is with rice

Right-hand bowl is without rice, left-hand bowl is with rice

2 portions of firm white fish such as haddock or cod each weighing between 120g-150g

700ml water

Bay leaf

2 large sprigs of thyme

8 peppercorns

40g butter

120g peeled diced carrot

70g baby leaf spinach

Small handful of basil, shredded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning


If you are serving with rice, start cooking this while you prepare the broth. Warm two soup bowls.

Place the fish in a medium sized pan with the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and water. Bring to the boil, cover and turn down to a simmer for 6-7 minutes, until the fish flakes easily. It is difficult to be exact, as the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the pan and place in a soup bowl. Skim out and discard the peppercorns and bay leaf from the water. Add the butter and carrots to the pan and bring to the boil, uncovered. Reduce the water by half, stirring occasionally to blend the butter. Meanwhile, flake the fish by hand, removing any skin or bones

When the broth has reduced, stir in the spinach and basil. Cover and allow to wilt for a minute. Remove from the heat. Take out the woody thyme sprigs but leave any thyme leaves. Add the flaked fish back into the pan then taste and adjust the seasoning. If you are using rice, place a portion in each bowl before sharing the broth between the bowls.

Low-FODMAP servings

Fish is high in protein and does not contain carbohydrates.

Butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates.

Carrot – Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 61g.

Spinach – 38g

Basmati rice – 190g (I used 150g of cooked basmati rice as a serving)

Basil – 16g


Low-FODMAP Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe (a gluten-free, low-lactose celebration of yellow).

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     Low-FODMAP Smoked Haddock Chowder

Low-FODMAP Smoked Haddock Chowder

When I was at primary school (pre- Low-FODMAP!) I remember having to paint a picture of our favourite on a sugar paper plate. Being a greedy little blighter, my plate had beef pie, spaghetti bolognaise, peas and a pile of yellow fish with yellow sauce. My mum would poach the fish in milk and make a sauce with egg yolks as a sort of savoury custard. So much yellowy-love. In the eighties it was very difficult to get anything other than the dyed smoked-haddock or cod but it’s now easier to find the un-dyed variety. Yes, natural colour is better for us, but can I say I sort of miss the unnatural explosion of colour?

After many years of failure to grow oregano in a pot, I shoved a twig in the ground and now it’s rampaging across the flowerbed. Most of our meals now contain least a tablespoon of fresh oregano in an effort to control the growth, but you can use fresh thyme if that’s what you have.

Serves 4

450g boneless smoked haddock

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. black peppercorns

500ml boiling water

1 tbsp. garlic oil

40g butter or dairy-free spread

1 large green pepper, in 1cm dice

1 corncob.

900g floury potatoes, peeled and in 1.5cm dice

500ml almond milk

1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or thyme

Small handful of curly parsley leaves, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper.

In a wide, deep, lidded pan, cover the fish, bay leaves and peppercorns with boiling water. Simmer covered for 5 minutes then remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Using a sharp, heavy knife, cut the kernels from the corncob. Remove the fish from the pan using a slotted spoon. Allow to cool on a plate. Strain the remaining liquid into a measuring jug. Top up the liquid with water to make 500ml. Clean the pan.

Warm the oils and butter in the pan, and then add the pepper and sweetcorn kernels. Cover and allow to soften over a medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the potato and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Pour the fishy water over the vegetables and stir in the thyme. Cover and allow to cook for around 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, remove any skin or stray bones from the fish and flake with your fingers. When the potatoes are cooked remove from the heat and use a measuring jug to remove 500ml of the vegetables and liquid. Add the almond milk and using a potato masher, mash everything in the pan until there are no lumps of potato left.

Stir the reserved 500ml of 'lumps and liquid' back into the pan with the fish. Bring up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning (you may not need any if your fish was salty) and serve in warm bowls with the parsley and black pepper scattered over the top.