Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

Make soup – use leftovers

I suspect much of the annual food waste occurs as a result of  the Christmas and New Year festive period. We all tend to buy more food than we need just in case we get caught by surprise visitors arriving at the door.

We love creating dishes out of leftovers and some are best made from them. Soup is the perfect example as a good stock can made from leftover chicken or turkey carcasses with added vegetables. There is no substitute for a good home made stock for making delicious, nutritious soups which are perfect if you just don’t feel like eating much.

One problem with stock is it is usually made with onions which contain fructans (a type of FODMAP) and can trigger symptoms. The thing to do is to substitute the green leaves of young leeks which carry the onion flavour but do not contain high levels of fructans. This will give the stock flavour and minimise the risk of triggering symptoms.

Below is a recipe for stock which is suitable for a low FODMAP diet and can be made into a delicious soup by adding a few carrots, a little butternut squash some herbs and a few leftover potatoes.

So when you cook a turkey or chicken today have an eye on how you will use the carcass and any leftover vegetables in a beautiful soup.


  • 2.5  litres / 4.5 pint

    To make chicken/turkey stock


    Makes 2.5 l / 4.5 pints

    Takes 15 minutes to prepare

    1 hour to cook

    • bones from a chicken carcass. This can be the wings, leg bones and thighs. Skin can be added for flavour but it is quite fatty and the fat will need to be skimmed off
    • green leaves from 3 young leeks, washed carefully
    • 4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
    • 1 small turnip, roughly chopped
    • small bunch of parsley (and thyme if you have any)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 10 black peppercorns


Break up the chicken/turkey carcass so it fits comfortably in a large saucepan. The sort you might cook a large batch of pasta in. You can add the skin and any bits of leftover meat as they all add flavour. The skin tends to be quite fatty and will need to skim the fat off the stock before it is used for stock.

Wash and roughly chop all the vegetables and add them to the saucepan with the chicken/turkey carcass and cover with the cold water.

Add the herbs and peppercorns to the water and bring the stock to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow the stock to simmer gently for 1 hour.

Remove the stock from the heat and allow it to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve. It should look clear and a slightly amber colour. As it cools fat will solidify and form a layer on the surface which you can skim off and use elsewhere in cooking if you like the taste.

Cool the stock before storing it in the fridge for up to four days or freezing in ice cubes or small plastic containers for up to 2 months.


Carrot and butternut squash soup

Carrot and butternut squash soup

Just because butternut squash contains some FODMAPS (polyols and fructans) it does not mean you have to ban them from your cooking and diet. The danger of doing that is you starve your gut bacteria of some important foods which help to make beneficial bacteria thrive in the gut.

The answer if to modify the amount you include in recipes so for four people 120 g would be perfect (30 g of butternut squash is low in FODMAPS). Try this amount out and if you are OK with it you can eat a little more next time.

Serves 4

  • 120 g butternut squash, roughly chopped into small cubes
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 medium potato diced (or used a leftover cooked potato)
  • 1 cm length of mild red chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1 litre home made chicken/turkey stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 slices of bread (gluten free, sourdough, spelt) cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Place the butternut squash, carrots , chilli (if using) and potato in a large pan and add the home made stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile heat a small frying pan and dry roast the pumpkin seeds until they begin to ‘pop’ and turn golden brown. Remove the pumpkin seeds from the pan.

Add a little oil to the pan and allow it to heat up over a gentle heat. Add the cubes of bread and cook until golden brown. Turn the croutons out onto a piece of absorbent kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat.

Liquidise the soup and check the seasoning and temperature. Reheat the soup if necessary. Serve the soup in bowls with a few pumpkin seeds and croutons scattered over the top.

For more information on how to manage your sensitive gut go to the IBS Network 

IBSLogowithstrap March 2011

This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on December 25, 2015 at 8:46 am. It’s filed under Basic methods, Lunch, Side dish, Side dish, Snack, Starter, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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