I'm eight days into a three week elimination diet. My uppity GI system has been the bane of my existence for many years, and I figured it's about time to nut up and get accountable. And this time I won't go hog wild on liqour and huevos rancheros as soon as the three weeks are done, thus rending useless the agony of the effort (see Elimination Diet 2009/ Patrick Wolf at Richards on Richards / brunch at Suze). No, I will diligently reintroduce one food every three days, dragging this process through wedding season, past Hallowe'en and knocking right on the door of Thighmageddon, better known as the Christmas baking season.
Having tried and failed in spectacular fashion last time I attempted this, I like any good Boy Scout, know that the key is being prepared. So I spent a Sunday prepping and freezing soups so I'd have quick options for when the Hanger Monster reared it's ugly head. Little tip - I freeze my soup in ice cube trays and then dump them in freezer bags. Four or five cubes is about perfect, they heat up quickly, and there's no chipping away at a two litre tub of frozen soup.
Both soups were adapted from Recipes for IBS by Ashley Koff, R.D.
White Bean and Fennel Soup
1 large fennel bulb with about 1/4 inch of the stems, sliced fairly thin (reserve leaves)
1 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 15 oz can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
Place the sliced fennel, broth, fennel seed, lemon juice and lemon peel in a large covered skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until fennel softens. Reduce heat to low, add the beans and simmer approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. It should look like this:
Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot, garnish with fennel leaves, like so:
Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
3 cups onions, chopped
2/3 cup carrots, chopped
1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
1 3/4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 tsp fresh oregano
1 tsp fresh dill
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, saute onions, apples and carrots in olive oil until onions are soft but not brown. Add squash, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and curry powder and continue to saute for about five minutes, until squash is soft. Add water, broth, oregano and dill. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are soft. Remove from heat.
In a blender, puree the vegetable mix in batches until smooth. Return pureed mix to the pot to heat through before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste, adjust flavour as necessary. Sprinkle with a dash of cloves when serving.
I just now realized that both soups are pretty much table coloured. Nice.
Another little tip - to get your clove sprinkles light and even, tap the spice bottle lightly over the wrist of your other arm. It's an old barista trick, because I was just that anal about never putting out a latte with clumpy cinnamon or chocolate garnish. Works well for soup too.
xoxo ~ your friend melissa, and her grumpy gut