Sunday, September 15, 2013

Low FODMAPs Thai Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Since moving to Sweden in 2009, I began to have gastrointestinal issues I'd never had before. I was bloating a lot, having rather unpleasant IBS style attacks at least once a week and I couldn't pinpoint the cause. I tried all manner of things and couldn't manage to work out what it was. 

Cut to 2011 and one of the women in my online Mums group in Australia suggested I look into fructose intolerance. She said her husband had it and his symptoms sounded the same as mine. I was rather skeptical, as I felt I had exhausted so many possibilities previously with no reduction in symptoms.

I emailed a dear friend in Tassie who is a hospital dietician/nutritionist and asked her if she had any information about what I should do. She said she didn't know too much about it and sent me what info she did have. 

FODMAPs is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo- Di- Mono-saccharides And Polyols (brief wiki summary here). It's effectively sugars that are fermented in the guts of people like myself. The fermentation process means that you get IBS symptoms, like bloating, distension,  diarrhea and/or constipation. 

Since I started on the low FODMAPs diet, my symptoms have not just improved, they have disappeared. The only time I get a return of symptoms is if I slip up and have too much of any of the FODMAPs. 

I have performed a few experiments on myself in this regard and I can tell you that wheat is a total no no, as is honey unfortunately. But the experiments have determined that nothing more terrible than a little extra gas happens as a result of a glass and a half of riesling. So I'm hopeful for a return to very occasional and small quantity wine drinking. 


So I have gone about adapting some of my existing recipes to ones that are FODMAPs friendly and mean that I've got some variation in my diet from my 'safe' meals. 

My Mum had a Thai pumpkin soup recipe that I tried out for the first time about 18 months ago. And here is my adjusted FODMAPs friendly version.  


1 kg pumpkin*, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon garlic oil**
1 teaspoon sambal oelek

2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
2 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon grass
4 cups chicken stock (FODMAPs friendly***)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
The juice of a good juicy lime (original recipe says 3 tsp but I like sour)
1 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh coriander


  1. Heat oil in a pan, add sambal oelek, lime leaves and lemon grass. 
  2. Cook on a medium heat until fragrant.
  3. Add pumpkin, cook stirring 1 minute, or in my case until your stock has defrosted and you can get it out of the tupperware.
  4. Add stock, fish sauce and lime juice.
  5. Simmer, covered until pumpkin is just tender. 
  6. Remove lime leaves.
  7. Blend your delicious cooked pumpkin.
  8. Add coconut cream and herbs to pumpkin mixture, stir until heated through
  9. Serve!

If you fancy making this the non-FODMAPs friendly way, add two cloves of crushed garlic at the start with a chopped onion when frying off the sambal oelek, lime leaves and lemon grass.

*So while I use butternut squash, being the one pumpkin that is readily available in Sweden. It is a moderate FODMAPs containing food and the portion needs to be limited. However, Jap/Kent/Kabocha pumpkins are considered safe on the app provided by Monash University. So if you can, get one of those. 
**You can get the flavour of garlic without the pain by sauteing a couple of cloves of garlic in your oil of choice for a few minutes and then removing the garlic. I usually make 100-200ml at at time with a good number of cloves to have on hand when I want my oil flavoured. Whatever you do though, don't use fresh garlic and let it infuse in the oil. That way leads to potential botulism and I'd hate to be responsible for that. 

***we regularly make a roast chicken and take the opportunity to make a stock with the carcass. The stock is then usually used in our risotto. It is both delicious and friendly to my belly. I will write a FODMAPs stock recipe soon, but suffice to say, it excludes onion and garlic, but doesn't lack in flavour. And the recipe has been blogged.


Moy said...

I like the variation on the recipe and will try it when I get home.

Anonymous said...

In the land that we call Sweden, do you have a type of pumpkin that you use. The flavour of the varieties that I have tried here is a little diluted compared to the big Queensland blue etc etc that I am used to in Oz.


scientician said...

I use the only ones I seem able to find, the butternut squash. I also sometimes add a bit of sweet potato for variation. But I've only got into pumpkin since moving here, so I think that I will have to try out the recipe when we next visit Aus for comparative purposes.