Updated: Feb 25, 2018
Grandmothers have been prescribing chicken soup for colds for decades, and it looks like science is slowly catching up to their wisdom. Some studies suggest chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory effects to help quell cold or flu symptoms. While other research shows that the steaming hot fluid part of the soup helps to decongest nasal passages, and keeps the body hydrated which can thin mucus. Whether it’s backed by robust science, or it makes you feel warm and fuzzy because it brings back memories, if chicken soup makes you feel better when you’re sick then dish it up.
But… truth be told there are no colds in my home this week I wanted to share a low FODMAP soup recipe because soup was something I mourned while on the low FODMAP elimination a few years ago.
- A note on FODMAPs - FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable sugars in a large variety of foods - from garlic and apples to wheat and mushrooms. Some people have a difficult time digesting these sugars, especially those with sensitive digestive systems, like those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The low FODMAP diet can help identify what foods cause digestive symptoms and reduce them for the longterm.
The low FODMAP diet includes a 2-6 week FODMAP elimination, then a dietitian-guided reintroduction to see how much of which foods are tolerated, then back to a liberalized diet. About 70% of people with IBS feel improvement in their symptoms when they go through this protocol with a dietitian's guidance.
Not only low FODMAP, this soup is packed with colourful, flavourful veggies and hits the table in under 40 minutes. The sweetness of the corn offsets the spicy kick from the cayenne and chilies. A simple workaround for high FODMAP spice mixes for FODMAPers - if there’s a spice that is ranked high because of garlic and/or onion powder, take a look at the ingredients and substitute everything but the garlic and onion. For example chili powder would usually be used in a tortilla soup recipe, so in it’s place is cayenee, dry oregano, and crushed red peppers.
By plating the hot soup over the leafy greens like kale or spinach, they become lightly wilted to a perfect el dente texture. If you don't have fire roasted tomatoes you can get a similar flavour by roasting a 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment or spilpat silicone liner (don't disregard this tip like I did the first time I tried it, the juices bake on and get messy). Drain the liquid, and flatten the tomatoes on the pan, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, bake for 30-40 minutes, turning half way through. Let tomatoes cool, and squish them into the soup with your hands - kids are great helpers for this messy step.
Chicken Tomato Tortilla Soup serves: 4 cooking time: 30 minutes Recipe adapted from: http://blog.katescarlata.com/2013/02/27/sante-fe-chicken-tortilla-soup/
2 cups roast or rotisserie chicken, or 3/4 - 1 pound chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup corn kernels (frozen)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
sea salt to taste
1 x 28 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth (use homemade low FODMAP, or low FODMAP chicken and vegetable stocks available from FODY foods)
1 cup green beans
1 tsp adobo chilies (optional)
2 cups baby kale (arugula, or spinach)
1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated (1 year or older is lactose free)
1/2 avocado (1/8 avocado per serving)
1/2 cup - Tortilla chips
1 cup cilantro
In medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
Add chicken allow to brown on all sides and cook through, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Add corn kernels, cayenne, red peppers, oregano powder, cumin and sea salt. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring to season the corn.
Add tomatoes, chicken broth and green beans to corn mixture, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add cooked chicken, and adobo chilies to the corn mixture and simmer for another 3 minutes.
Prepare 4 soup bowls with a handful of baby kale each, and serve soup overtop.
Top with grated cheddar and handful of tortilla chips.
Garnish with avocado and cilantro.
Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 425; Protein 22 g; Total Carbohydrate 27 g ; Dietary Fiber 6 g; Sugars 7 g; Fat 23 g; Sodium 784 mg (this estimate will vary depending on broth used, homemade will have less sodium)