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Going on a low-FODMAP diet certainly isn’t the most glamorous thing, but the regimen has demonstrated itself to be a huge solution for the millions of people who suffer from IBS. For the uninitiated, the term FODMAP is actually an acronym, one standing for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharadies, and polyols, or in layman’s terms, the fermentable carbs found in many of the most common foods we consume (think milk, wheat, and legumes). For some, these short-chain carbs are often not well absorbed into the small intestine, leaving many people with uncomfortable symptoms.

Related Reading: What Is the Low-FODMAP Diet All About?

The Low-FODMAP IBS Solution Plan and Cookbook: Heal Your IBS with More Than 100 Low-FODMAP Recipes That Prep in 30 Minutes or Less, $26.99 on Amazon

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Luckily, there are plenty of cookbooks out there to transition you into the diet. Take “The Low-FODMAP IBS Solution Plan and Cookbook” from Dr. Rachel Pauls, a surgeon and medical researcher who also doubles as a chef and FODMAP blogger. Rachel’s recipes are designed to guide you through a low-FODMAP diet and reduce IBS symptoms. The book is replete with over 100 gluten-free recipes—many geared to be on the table in just 30 minutes—like lemon chicken with rotini and vegetables, turkey sloppy joes, banana chocolate chip oat bars, and chewy brownie cookies with walnuts. 

You’ll also find a 4-week meal plan, designed to phase you into the diet without it becoming super overwhelming. The book is suitable for multiple dietary restrictions, with plenty of options for vegan and vegetarian dishes. 

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Interested in trying out a low-FODMAP dish and seeing how you feel? Test out Rachel’s slow cooker bacon, potato, and lentil soup, a comforting stew intended to keep you warm and cozy  as the temperature crawls back down. You simply have to rely on your slow cooker to do the heavy lifting: Drop cooked bacon, potatoes, carrots, lentils, parsnips, stock, and oil in and cook on low until the potatoes are just tender—about six to eight hours. At the last moment, toss in kale and squeeze lemon juice as needed. It’s a soup that feels like a bit of a cheat—thanks to the bacon—but plenty healthy enough to leave you feeling full and satisfied.      

© 2020 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2020 Rachel Pauls.

Slow Cooker Bacon, Potato & Lentil Soup Recipe

This soup is an instant classic. Hearty and flavorful, it reminds me of a split pea soup with bacon (but because peas are not low-FODMAP, I used lentils instead). The ingredients are easy to throw together, and your slow cooker does the rest. Set it up to cook overnight or while you run errands during the day. FODMAP fact: Regular cooked lentils are low-FODMAP in 2-tablespoon (23 g) servings. However, you can enjoy more of the canned variety because the FODMAPs leach into the liquid that is drained off. Therefore, 1/4 cup (46 g) of canned lentils is one low-FODMAP serving.

Slow Cooker Bacon, Potato, and Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 12-15 hours
Ingredients
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon (uncooked)
  • 2 pounds (910 g) baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
  • 1 cup (120 g) sliced carrots (1/4-inch coins)
  • 1/2 cup (92 g) dried lentils (will yield 1 1/4 cups cooked lentils)
  • 1 cup (120 g) sliced parsnips (1/4-inch coins)
  • 8 cups (1920 ml) low-FODMAP chicken stock, homemade or store bought
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) garlic infused olive oil (page 25)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups (210 g) chopped kale, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
Instructions
  1. Place the bacon on a microwave-safe plate, cover with paper towels, and microwave until crisp, about 4 minutes, then crumble into pieces.
  2. Place the cooked bacon, potatoes, carrots, lentils, parsnips, stock, and oil in a 5- or 6-quart (4.5 or 5.4 L) slow cooker and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, 6 to 8 hours. Taste the broth and season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir in the kale and cook for about 2 minutes more. Stir in the lemon juice and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
  3. NOTE: For a thicker broth, once the potatoes are cooked, mash about half of the potatoes with a fork inside the slow cooker, then simmer for another 5 minutes before serving.
  4. VARIATION: For vegetarians/vegans, use low-FODMAP vegan stock and omit the bacon.

Header image by Alison Bickel.

Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is decidedly pro-chocolate.
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