Low fodmap minestrone soup


I’ve always loved a good chunky vegetable broth. It’s so comforting and packed full of goodness . My Baba (Ukrainian grandmother) makes the BEST vegetable and noodle soup! It’s like medicine for the soul.

Minestrone soup makes me feel the same way. So much love, attention and honest, simple ingredients go into making it. There are so many different ways of making it and hundreds of different family recipes but this recipe is my way. 

Ingredients

  • 500g Passata
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp Garlic infused oil
  • Half a swede
  • 3 carrots
  • 150g gluten free pasta
  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 100ml white wine
  • Low fodmap stock – enough to cover
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cornflour 
  • 3 leaves of spring greens
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Method

  1. Dice all of the veg and throw them into a deep casserole dish or saucepan.
  2. Tip in all of the other ingredients except for the pasta and the cornflour. Pour over enough stock to cover everything.
  3. Simmer until the veg is soft then tip in the pasta.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, mix the cornflour with a splash of water then slowly pour into the soup whilst stirring continuously.
  5. Check the seasoning and mix in some salt and pepper if you fancy it! 

Enjoy! It’s great to take as a packed lunch to reheat at work and will last up to 5 days in the fridge! 

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Low fodmap butternut squash and sweet potato soup


Since starting my low fodmap diet I’ve felt amazing. In only two weeks I’ve gone from looking 9 months pregnant to maybe around 4 months (I’m not actually pregnant in case you hadn’t already guessed). For the first time in years I’m not going out covered in a massive cardigan and scarf to hide my tummy. My body is looking so much more in proportion and the blinding pain is disappearing rapidly.

I feel the best I’ve felt in a very VERY long time.

I’ve also learnt to trust carbs again. They’ve always been a bit of a fear food for me as everyone tells you not to eat them. But since going low fodmap, potatoes have become a big part of my life again. They don’t hurt me, they don’t make me ill and they take away all those horrible cravings I would have on low carb diets. The way I see it everything in moderation. And before you ask, upping my carbs hasn’t made me put on weight, the opposite in fact!

I’m a big fan of low fodmap. Yes, it is very restrictive but after years of trying different diets out in a vain attempt to fix myself, the fodmap diet hasn’t been too intimidating.

Once you figure out what you can have and stop focussing on what you can’t it becomes much easier to manage.

The main downside however, to the fodmap diet is that it’s impossible to buy readymade food. The onion and garlic restriction is a huge bummer. Grabbing a pot of soup from the supermarket for a quick lunch is now a thing of the past. So I decided to come up with a recipe of my own and, as my husband always says as he steals a few chips from my plate, sharing is caring! So here you go:

Ingredients

1 Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped

The green tops of 6 spring onions (only the green bit is low fodmap)

A big bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

250g passata

1-2 tbsp garlic infused oil (the only garlic thing allowed on fodmap)

2 tbsp lime juice, more if you like it sharp!

1 tin of coconut milk

Fodmap friendly stock or if you can’t get any/make any just use water and make sure to season with salt and pepper

Method

Gently fry the veg in the garlic infused oil until slightly softened. Pour over in the coconut milk and passata and then top up with enough stock/water to cover the veg. Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer gently until the veg has softened.

Blend and it’s ready to serve. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days and is great for lunches or a quick dinner.

So you’ve got SIBO…

I’ve had a stomach ache for 24 years.

What started as colic, then ‘just growing pains’, then a particularly nasty case of appendicitis, then a wheat intolerance, then type 2 diabetes quickly re-diagnosed as type 1 diabetes, then anorexia, then diabulimia, then post viral fatigue, then every food intolerance under the sun has finally been diagnosed as SIBO. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth. And I’m so relieved.

After a life time of pain, tiredness, discomfort and hiding behind baggy jumpers and a big scarf I finally know why.

My lovely parents tried all sorts when I was growing up, eliminating then testing certain foods from my diet, taking me to specialists and consultants all over the place, ferrying me back and forth from hospital and appointments. They were and still are incredible and amazingly supportive.

My pain has never really made sense, always ticking most but not all of the boxes of various things. We’ve been circling the idea of a leaky gut, autoimmune reactions, bad bacteria but never hit the nail on the head for years. Eventually I went and cried at a poor GP and he sent me off to the gastro clinic. For the first time in my life the consultant listened properly and then very confidently told me he was going to get me better.

He then sent me for every gastro test necessary, trust me you don’t need the details..

Finding the time to go to these appointments with a full time job in London and a husband who often works away overseas wasn’t easy. My friends were amazing at helping out and if I didn’t have an inappropriate amount of love for them already, I do now!

And now I have my answer. Sibo. And it’s treatable.

I’m now booked in to see my consultant and we’re going to get busy treating this beast. I feel so positive. I can finally get my life back.

For so many years I’ve felt trapped in a body that was shutting down and would never get better.

I lived my life having to go from work straight to bed and either leave social events early or not go at all. I removed all the mirrors in our house because I couldn’t face looking at my painful, bloated stomach. I wore a scarf to hide my stomach every day, even in the 34 degree heat. All food made me sick and I’d be melting into my desk at work even after the smallest of lunches from brainfog. I would be suffocated by the bloating of my own stomach pushing and restricting my lungs. Walking upstairs made my heart feel like it was going to collapse and don’t get me started on the guilt, depression and anxiety. I felt like such a burden on my lovely, supportive husband.

And now I can fix it all. No more hiding.

I’ve already started the recommended fodmap diet and after only 3 days my bloating has halved and I have energy. I feel like me again. It’s not an easy diet to follow but if it can do that much in 3 days then it’s worth it!

I’m so excited for what’s to come.