Soup

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

 

Hearty Adaptable Soup-Stew with Turmeric - Low-FODMAP recipe

A winter-warmer I’ve been eating at any given opportunity. Although the recipe seems like a very basic vegetable soup, the herbs and spices all have their nutritional place.

I deliberately don’t add the ‘protein of choice’ until the end. You can portion up the soup and freeze for quick, filling lunches. By adding your protein just before serving, you can ring the changes and have a different lunch each time; simply re-heat the soup-stew and stir in. We still have air-dried ham leftover from Christmas which I diced up to use for the picture. You can of course use a mixture of several proteins. I hope you will experiment and see how adaptable this soup is!

Serves 6

1 litre stock chicken, beef or vegetable stock or if you have some, bone broth.

1 tbsp. coconut oil

240g carrots, peeled and diced

220g parsnips, peeled and diced

Thyme, 5 sprigs

440g potato, peeled and diced (all rounders, such as Desiree)

2 tomatoes, each cut into 8

3 sage leaves, shredded

½ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. sea salt flakes

3 sage leaves shredded

½ tsp. turmeric

Very large handful of curly leaf parsley finely chopped (30g of leaves)

 

The following measures are given per person. Add to heat through, before serving.

70g chopped, cooked chicken, beef, ham, turkey or pork

46g well rinsed, canned lentils

42g well rinsed, canned chickpeas

40g air-dried ham

 

Warm the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add the carrots, parsnips and thyme sprigs, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, sage, turmeric, pepper and salt before cooking and stirring for a further 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Stir in stock, cover and bring to the boil before turning down to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the woody thyme stalks. The soup will be cooked now but if it needs to stand for a while, it won’t harm, the flavours will simply mellow together.

If you are freezing this, stir in the parsley and cool fully before portioning it up. If you are serving now, add your chosen protein to heat through and stir in the parsley at the last minute.

Low-FODMAP servings

Parsnip - Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 62g.

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

Potato - Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 122g.

Tomato – Common, eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 119g.

Canned chickpeas – 42g

Canned lentils – 46g

Meat is high in protein and does not contain carbohydrates. Check ingredients of processed meats for high-FODMAP ingredients.

A Winter Warmer - Low-FODMAP Parsnip and Parsley Soup Recipe

Bacon - optional: cosy feeling - obligatory.

Bacon - optional: cosy feeling - obligatory.

As autumn winds slide into winter frosts food is as much about keeping you warm as it is about nourishment. Parsnips are a wonderful, cheap, low-FODMAP and plentiful winter staple but I don’t deny they can be awkward to cook with. Often I will roast them, or add plenty of chilli to mask a bit of the, sometimes overwhelming, flavour. This time I wanted a large soup, with enough leftovers to for me to freeze individual portions that I could use for quick lunches or teatimes. Parsley came in because I’d never before noticed the similarity between the words parsley and parsnip. The Our House For Tea approach works like that, it isn’t entirely scientific, but it works! I found the best way to cut through the rich parsnip flavour was to add a little lemon juice, more salt than I would normally use and forgo the usual chilli for lots of black pepper.

Serves 8,

Prep 10 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes

1 kg parsnips

400g carrots

2 tbsp. olive oil

Scant 1/8th tsp. asafoetida

1.2 litres chicken stock

1 tsp. salt flakes

2 large handfuls of curly parsley, very roughly chopped

6ooml almond milk

2 tsp. lemon juice

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Optional to serve - 8 rashers cooked, crispy, smoked streaky bacon, crumbled and a few reserved parsley leaves.

 

Peel and chop the parsnips and carrots into even sized 1.5cm pieces. In a heavy based pan warm the oil over a medium high heat. Add the vegetables to the oil and fry off for 2 minutes before covering the pan and allowing the vegetables to sweat for 5 minutes. You will need to stir occasionally, to prevent the vegetables sticking.

Add the chicken stock and salt then bring up to the boil before turning down the heat, covering with a lid and simmering for 30 minutes. You may need to stir occasionally, remove from the heat when the vegetables are soft. Add the parsley, reserving a small amount to serve.

Liquidise the soup in batches, then return to the pan with the almond milk and lemon juice to warm through. Taste and add as much freshly ground black pepper as you wish – we like lots! Serve with the crumbled bacon on top, more black pepper and any remaining parsley leaves.

 

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.