It’s getting chilly outside! Warm up with this healthy and low-FODMAP Cream of Tomato Soup. It’s grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, and delicious!
Hi guys! Today’s post and recipe is a special one for me because it hits home for me and a lot of other people out there. It’s all about living with and managing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms. Since the GI doctor’s best guess for what’s wrong with me is IBS, this is a topic that is close to my heart (and stomach). If you have IBS, there are some good ideas in here for you! If you don’t have IBS, the Cream of Tomato Soup recipe is still awesome, so print the recipe so you can make it today 😉
Did you know that up to 20% of U.S. adults have IBS symptoms? More women than men are diagnosed with IBS, but many never seek medical help for it. I am one of those 20% with IBS, and it’s no fun. It can be debilitating to get severe stomach and intestinal cramps (and worse), and there are few answers – just more questions. According to a Harris Poll* conducted on behalf of VSL#3, 37% of IBS sufferers indicate their condition is extremely/very problematic.
I personally have had symptoms of IBS for as long as can remember, mostly since I had giardia as a child. It was never officially diagnosed until just a few years ago. After 2 endoscopies with biopsies, 1 colonoscopy, and cultures and tests, my GI doctor couldn’t find anything wrong, so he just passed my symptoms off as IBS. An easy answer for him to give but far from easy for me to deal with. The doctor’s team was not supportive at all, and provided no resources or support. I was on my own from that point, and it was a frustrating journey to say the least.
*Harris Poll conducted the GI Issues Survey on behalf of VSL#3. The survey was administered online within the United States between April 1 – 7, 2015 among 607 adult’s ages 18+ who have been diagnosed with a digestive or gastrointestinal condition, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis, ileal pouch (“sufferers”).
Over the years, my IBS symptoms have gotten better and worse depending on my stress levels and diet, and that drove me to find new ways to manage IBS and the symptoms. I looked at different diets, but many were restrictive and hard to follow. I am a terrible planner (I’m getting better!), so any “diet” was hard for me to follow.
I had heard about the low FODMAP diet a while ago but never really paid it much thought. Looking for more answers for my tummy troubles, I started to do some more research on it and discovered how well people with IBS were doing with a low-FODMAP diet. In fact, about 75% of IBS sufferers get relief from symptoms with a low-FODMAP diet. The diet really wasn’t overly restrictive, and I could fit it into my life. That’s great news!
So, what are FODMAPs? FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, which are different types of carbohydrates. The Monash University in Melbourne Department of Gastroenterology did studies with IBS and discovered that people with IBS often have malabsorption of FODMAPs. With this research, the Monash University developed the low-FODMAP diet to address IBS symptoms.
I have been following a modified low FODMAP diet for about a year now and it works! My IBS symptoms have improved quite a lot for me. I really have to be cautious of what I eat and I have had to remove other things from my diet that I have become sensitive to as well (like chocolate, caffeine, brown rice protein, etc.), but switching to a lower FODMAP diet has helped!
Beyond a low-FODMAP diet, one of the other things that can help IBS is a good probiotic. It is suggested that adults should take at least one billion cells (also called colony-forming units or CFU’s) daily. I know for me personally, 1 billion isn’t that much and I feel better when I have a high-dose probiotic. The VSL#3 probiotic has at least 112.5 billion CFU’s (depending on which one you choose).
VSL#3 is a medical-grade, high-dose probiotic that is available at your local pharmacy. If you are looking for it, just make sure to ask the pharmacist for VSL#3 since it is kept behind the pharmacy counter in the refrigerator. If you’re interested in getting more info about VSL#3, check out their website and use the the code DOCTOR to receive $5 off your order when purchasing at VSL#3 from their online store.
Here are some other good things to know about the VSL#3 probiotic:
- VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic medical food that is clinically proven in the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis (UC) and ileal pouch
- VSL#3 is a proprietary formulation of a mix of 8 strains of live lactic acid bacteria, making it one of the few probiotics with this many strains
- VSL#3 is at least 10 times more potent than the average probiotic
- VSL#3 products must be refrigerated to maintain potency, are gluten-free, Kosher and Halal certified
- VSL#3 differs from other probiotics in that it is a medical food, not a supplement, and therefore must be used under medical supervision
If you’re following a low-FODMAP diet and looking for some new recipes, or you’re just starting on a low-FODMAP diet and aren’t sure where to begin, check out the recipes from VSL#3! You can still enjoy great tasting food that make you feel good inside, too. VSL#3 partnered with medical nutrition therapist and registered dietitian, Patsy Catsos, to create palate pleasing IBS-friendly recipes you can indulge in!
VSL#3 sent me a cookbook by Patsy Catsos and a book with recipe cards so I can create my own IBS-friendly cookbook with my favorite recipes. They also wanted me to share one of the recipes with my readers so you can enjoy these delicious low-FODMAP recipes, too. I decided to make and share the Cream of Tomato soup!
Without further ado, here is the low-FODMAP Cream of Tomato Soup recipe! I made a few modification from the original recipe: I increased the salt and thyme, omitted the red pepper flakes and wine, then replaced the heavy cream with canned coconut milk (coconut milk is low FODMAP up to 1/2 cup). Perfect! It tastes delicious and is tummy friendly 🙂 I used fresh tomatoes in this recipe since raw tomatoes don’t seem to bother my reflux like cooked ones do, but you can use the canned tomato option if you like.
- 1-3/4 pounds fresh tomatoes or 28-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, not drained
- 1 Tablespoon garlic-infused oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 6 Tablespoons canned coconut milk
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or large food processor and blend until smooth
- If you want to serve this soup warm, pour into a medium pan and heat on the stove until very warm but not boiling
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