We are two weeks into September and already I’m craving soups and stews! They are such a comforting and tasty way to eat more vegetables. All of the great squash available right now at my local farmer’s market inspired me to create this recipe. It combines squash, lentils, sweet potatoes, and a great blend of spices to make a hearty stew (no meat necessary)!
My favourite squash to use in this low fodmap lentil squash sweet potato stew is buttercup. It is grown locally in Ontario and I can find it at many grocery stores and farmer’s market. Acorn squash or kobacha/Japanese pumpkin are other options. Winter squashes are rich in nutrients, including beta carotene and potassium. You can learn more about the nutrition, storage and availability of winter squashes from Foodland Ontario.
Note: butternut squash is different than buttercup; Monash recommends to limit butternut squash to 1/4 cup per serving.
The squash and sweet potato need to be washed, peeled and cubed. The smaller you make the cubes the faster the stew will cook! If you cut them very small the stew can cook in 20 minutes. I think the hardest part of this recipe is peeling and cubing the squash. But in the end, it’s so worth the effort! I also prefer buttercup squashes over acorn because they are simpler to peel.
Most legumes are high FODMAP. However, lentils do have safe serving sizes. Dried lentils are low FODMAP at 1/4 cup, and canned lentils have a higher maximum serving size at 1/2 cup. I recommend using canned red lentils in this recipe. It’s essential to rinse the lentils very well before adding to the stew. Canned lentils are lower FODMAP than dried because some of the FODMAPs leach into the canning liquid.
To make this stew low FODMAP, I had to find alternatives for garlic and onion. I like using fennel bulb in stews as it adds a nice flavour and has a similar texture to onion. The green parts of green onion are low FODMAP but still have a tasty onion flavour. I wrote an entire blog post on my favourite ways to add flavour to low FODMAP foods!
Most chili powders sold in Canada are not pure chili powder; they usually contain garlic and/or onion and a blend of other spices. Pure chili powders are low FODMAP. Ancho chili powder is a type of pure chili powder that is fairly mild. Chipotle chili powder is also low FODMAP, but is much spicier. Spicy foods can be a non-FODMAP IBS trigger for some people. Personally, I can’t tolerate spicy foods so I use ancho chili powder. The blend of ancho chili, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper makes this stew so mouth-watering and aromatic.
When the stew is finished cooking make sure to taste it and add more spices as needed. The amount of salt needed will vary depending on how much salt is in your broth and/or canned tomatoes. I recommend starting with a small amount of salt and slowly increasing. You can always add more salt but you can’t take it out!
If you want an extra boost of flavour you can add some fresh herbs. I like topping this stew with a bit of fresh parsley!
In Canada, many commercial stocks contain onion and/or garlic. Onion or garlic may also be hiding under the name “natural flavours” in the ingredients list. If natural flavours are listed in the ingredients list, you need to contact the company to learn if it contains onion or garlic. Here is an example of a chicken broth powder that is low FODMAP and found in many Canadian stores.
FODY sells low FODMAP foods online, including a chicken soup base and a vegetable soup base. This is the only low FODMAP vegetable broth I have found for sale in Canada.
It’s not necessary to buy stock! A recipe for low FODMAP chicken stock can be found here. Or here is a recipe for low FODMAP vegetable stock powder. If you can’t find any low FODMAP stock and don’t have time to cook some, it’s okay to replace the stock with water (but you will need to add more salt).
One of the best parts about stew is how well it freezes. When you cook up a big batch you can freeze the extras for up to 3 months! Having a pre-made healthy low FODMAP meal in your freezer is a huge time saver for busy days.
FODMAP serving size is 1/10th recipe (approximately 1.5 cups) to keep it low FODMAP.
This recipe was adapted from Oh She Glows!
Are you looking for support with managing digestive symptoms and/or the low FODMAP diet? My nutrition counselling and coaching services are available across Canada (via video messaging or phone). I am a registered dietitian with a Master’s of Public Health in Nutrition who specializes in digestion and practical healthy eating tips. Learn more about my services by clicking here.
I hope you enjoy this autumn lentil stew! If you are on Pinterest, check out my new Autumn/Fall Low FODMAP Recipes board.
I also have two other soup/stew recipes on my blog: