Two amateur cooks explore the world of cooking for a Crohn's and Colitis diet

As we continue our soup splurge (try saying that 10 times fast), Marnina and I have expanded into adding new kinds of ingredients into our soups: never before have we used fish or pumpkin.  And in our continual quest to find IBD-friendly soups, this one is high up on the list.  With the salmon, turmeric, and extra virgin olive oil, this soup is an omega-3 and anti-inflammatory powerhouse.  As I noted in a previously, omega-3’s can be found mostly in the fat of cold water fish, such as the salmon in this recipe.  Omega-3’s are thought to reduce inflammation, and play a number of key roles in improving one’s circulatory system.  Research indicates that omega-3’s may be better absorbed from food than supplements, so it is more cost-effective and healthier to just get your omega-3’s from natural food sources.  You also have to be wary of some supplements, especially those that are not labeled with a USP (a Dietary Supplement Verification Program that helps dietary supplement manufacturers ensure the production of quality products for consumers).

In addition to the salmon, the turmeric and extra virgin olive oil in this recipe also have natural anti-inflammatory properties.  There are actually people with IBD and other intestinal problems that take concentrated turmeric pills (I Be a fooDie does not advocate the use of any supplements, medications, or alternative medical therapies – we are primarily here to inform!).  The extra virgin olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties because of its phytonutrients.  The anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil do not depend on large levels of intake; as little as 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day have been shown to be associated with significant anti-inflammatory benefits.[1]

Marnina and I have had numerous “fish” experiences recently. Over labor day weekend, while we were in the Finger Lakes, we spent a couple of hours fishing at our private dock. Our friend Josh loves to fish. I was much more inexperienced, but still got a kick out of putting the bait on the line and sitting on the edge of the dock waiting for a bite. Well, we waited…and waited…and waited…and came out with nothing.  Josh was convinced that there were fish in the water, they just hadn’t found us yet.  We returned to fish a couple more times during the weekend, but I had enough of sitting around and waiting. Nonetheless, I can still say that I went fishing!

Our other fish experience occurred earlier this summer at a local Korean market called H-Mart. The market has incredible produce and fish. Buying fish at H-Mart is about as close as you can get to catching fish yourself.  At H-Mart, customers pick their own fish. At the fish counter, you are given a basket and using a plastic bag to cover your hand, you literally hand-pick the different kinds of fish that you wish to purchase and place them in your basket — talk about getting up close and personal with the creatures. After picking the fish, you hand the basket to someone behind the counter and tell them how you wish to purchase your fish (if you want it filleted etc). We asked to have our Tilapia filleted, which was a process we wish that we hadn’t watched at the time…Unfortunately, they weigh your fish before filleting it and charge you by its original weight (not its weight after being cut up). Still, the fish was incredibly reasonably priced and delicious!

The soup recipe below can be made with fresh, or frozen (and defrosted) fish. The recipe calls for salmon, but we substituted it for Tilapia since it happened to be in our freezer already.   Feel free to add more spices (additional turmeric). Rice would also be a wonderful addition.

The recipe is also gluten free!

Pictures and recipe below:

Seth and our friend Josh fishing on Lake Seneca (and not catching anything)

Getting up-close with the hand-picked Tilapia...the fish is even smiling!

Okay, I'll admit we got a little bit carried away

The chopped veggies are ready to go into the soup

Ready to attack the pumpkin!

Do not peel pumpkin for fun. It is not a relaxing activity!

Sharing a pumpkin smile

Cut up pumpkin and potatoes

It's looking more like soup now!

Adding the spices!

The finished product!


  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small carrots, cut into flowers
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 lb. skinless boneless salmon filet, cut into 1″ cubes (we substituted tilapia)
  • 1/2  small pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1 leek (white parts only), thickly sliced crosswise and washed (we used an onion instead)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1⁄2 tsp. tumeric
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black
  • pepper, to taste
  • tarragon and lemon mint for garnish


1. Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, leeks, cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, pumpkin, bay leaves and 6 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Add salmon to soup; simmer until just cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add tumeric and season generously with salt and pepper.

4. Divide soup between bowls; garnish with tarragon and lemon mint.

Adapted from:

[1] University of Maryland Medical Center –

Comments on: "Autumn Vegetables Fish Soup with Turmeric" (2)

  1. Dear Marnina and Seth. I am glad that you liked my recipe. It is very good soup. It would be nice if you mentioned where you got it from-)))

    • Hi Yelena,

      We just added your website as the source of the recipe — we apologize for the oversight! We are usually very careful about citing our sources. Thanks for checking out our blog and providing the delicious recipe!

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