Earlier this year I got a new carer, and one of her first tasks as an enthusiastic cook was to come up with meals I could eat without provoking an MCAS flare. Since my MCAS reasserted itself in 2017, I’d been down to a safe list of around 10 foods. (These days I can eat around 20.) Anything else caused hives, itching, stomach problems, and psychiatric symptoms. I’d been eating the same thing for every meal for months, and the thought of it was starting to make me gag. I had to get more creative. On my first session with my new carer, I wrote out a list of ingredients I knew were safe for me and we pored over it together like pirates with a treasure map. I suggested some kind of vegetable soup, and this is what she came up with. It’s delicious, it’s healthy, and it doesn’t build up histamines so rapidly, because it’s vegan. I’m even able to eat leftovers of this one.
Half a bunch of celery
Half a butternut squash or kabocha
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
3 leaves sage
1 29oz can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp olive oil
10-12 cups water
1. Slice the carrots and parsnip lengthways and chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Slice the celery into 1/4 inch pieces. Peel butternut squash if using (it is optional to peel the kabocha.) and cut into cubes.
2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add the carrots, celery and parsnip and sautée for 5 min.
4. Add 10-12 cups water, depending on desired thickness of soup.
5. Finely chop rosemary, sage, and thyme, and add to the pot.
6. Let the soup cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
7. Add the cubed squash, and cook for a further 30 minutes.
8. Add the potatoes and salt to taste. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
9. Add the tin of pumpkin puree to the stock and turn the heat down to low.
10. Cook on low for 5 more minutes, adjusting salt levels as needed.
Makes 6 serves, which can be frozen. Mine go into the fridge to be the next week’s meals.