Vegetable Broth Soup Recipe – Recovery Food

Vegetable broth soup in a soup cup


When you’ve been unexpectedly glutened you’ll need to go gently on your stomach when you first start eating again, and this vegetable broth soup recipe does the perfect job of feeding you and rehydrating at the same time.

This vegetable broth soup recipe was inspired by the Spanish version, known as caldo de arroz, which a friend made for me when I was recovering from a particularly nasty bout of gluten-induced cramps.

Even after being gluten free for more than four years, I still get caught out occasionally. It’s impossible not to, especially if you eat out. And when I get contaminated, wow do I get ill.

There’s no two ways about it, getting glutened is horrible.

In this post we’re going to look at:

How You Might Get Glutened After Being Gluten Free – My Experience

As well as the specific traps which I describe below, I’ve also been glutened by restaurants where they quite simply have no idea what is, and what isn’t, gluten.

A waiter once guaranteed me that the house-made gazpacho didn’t have bread in it – but it did; another time the tapa was gluten free – until I found a big chunk of bread in it; chips were apparently cooked separately until I discovered they were sharing the frier with all sorts of battered foods.

Unfortunately this kind of occurrence is almost impossible to avoid because you’re depending on other people to know about gluten. So you eat a meal and then go home and get sick.

The restaurant never knows that you got sick and thinks their gazpacho, tapa or chips can be sold as gluten free when they’re not. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying they do it on purpose, they just don’t get to see the result of someone who can’t eat gluten after they’ve been glutened.

But there are other times when it is our own fault and that’s even more terrible! Why didn’t I think to check first!!? You ask yourself!

So here are a few to help avoid the same traps happening to you.

cocktails, mixed drinks, cheap lemonade & Mojito

I was recently out at the village yearly festivities and I ordered a mojito. It came with too much sugar and lots of ice and it never occurred to me that it could have gluten in it. I just didn’t stop to check or to question it, which is very unusual for me as I’m normally very careful.

Glass of mojito with fresh mint


Anyway, I got home at about 8 p.m. and by 8.30 p.m. I was in agony. The cramping pain and complete sickness feeling carried on and on and on until eventually, at 3:00 in the morning I was able to lay on the bed a bit.

By 7 a.m. though, the cramps came back and I was violently sick followed by hot and cold chills. I was out of action for 2 days.

It was such a bad feeling that I have only drunk water since! And I’m very happy to keep it that way, thank you very much!

The point is, gluten comes up to surprise you when you least expect it and drinks are a common lurking place. Mojitos, when made at home or if you check what it’s been made with, are normally gluten free. But Barcardi Silver has gluten in it as do some lemonades. So beware!

Indian Restaurants

I’ve been caught out a few times when I’ve been to Indian restaurants before I realised the risk. From now on, I think I’ll avoid Indian restaurants unless they specifically understand the issue of gluten.

And it isn’t enough to be listed on trip advisor as offering gluten free because, as I found out, that doesn’t mean they actually DO know that their spices are gluten free. I guess it’s a case of finding one you trust, where you can go back to and know that they buy gluten free spices.

Unless they really know what they’re talking about, it’s risky. On each occasion that it happened to me I had checked with the waiter that the food was gluten free and he had said yes.

I believed him.

The whole night and following day I paid the price.

Oh Dear – A Simple Salad

I recently ate in a restaurant where I go often and the owners know that I’m gluten free and go out of their way to make me some special food. On this particular day I ordered the house salad and when it came I ate it and loved it.

A plate of salad

It had crispy onions on top to give it a nice little crunch. That was a creative new touch.



Crispy onions with gluten. I never stopped to question it.

What to Do If You Get Glutened

There’s no magic wand unfortunately. If you’ve eaten gluten and you’re sensitive, you’re going to get whatever reaction you get and all you can do is sit it out.

But, there are a couple of things I’ve found to help me.

Soda Bicarbonate

Some people say that drinking water helps them, but it tends to exacerbate the pain for me. I do, though, like to drink a bit of water with Soda Bicarbonate in it. About 1/2 teaspoon to a small glass of water is fine.

Soda Bicarbonate is alkaline so it reduces the acidity in the stomach and helps to settle gas. I find it relieving and it even tastes nice at that moment when I need it!

‘Caldo’ vegetable Broth soup

While I’m having the stomach cramps I can’t eat anything but when the pain passes and I’m no longer lying on the bed groaning, I start to recover and eventually there comes a moment when I will get hungry.

At that moment, the best food you can put in your stomach is this homemade vegetable broth soup which is gentle on your stomach and the entire gut system. In this area of Spanish it’s the go-to recipe for people who aren’t well, except that it’s usually made from meat stock.

It’s basically made out of water, 1 leek, 1 potato (optional), 1 handful of rice, slosh of olive oil, 2 cloves garlic in their skins, salt & pepper, herb of choice, turmeric. And you can add more things, like small cauliflower florets. Just remember that this should be watery and not to heavy on the digestion, so keep it simple.

How to Make Your ‘Caldo’ Vegetable Broth Soup

Fill a pan with water and add a slosh of olive oil. Put in the leeks to boil. The friend who made this for me says that you should leave the leeks as long as possible until they’re cooked and then cut them up with scissors. Apparently the leeks give more flavour that way than if you cut them first. I can’t say whether this is true or not!

So cook your leeks in water and add 1 chopped potato and 1-2 handfuls of rice. Add salt to taste and a pinch of turmeric for colour. Once it’s boiling reduce the heat and cook for about 30 minutes. The soup should be more water than solids and will help to re-hydrate you while being easy on the digestion system.

Vegetable Broth Soup Recipe – When You’ve Been Glutened

An easy to digest soup for when your stomach has been upset.

5 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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  • 1 pan of water
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 handfuls rice
  • 2 or more cloves of garlic added to the water with skin on
  • slosh of olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: cauliflower florets broken up small


  1. Fill a pan of water and add 1 tsp salt (or to taste), 1 chopped leek, 1 potato, 2 garlic cloves with skins on and a slosh of olive oil.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 2 handfuls of rice to the pan and leave to cook for another 20 minutes or until the potato is soft and the rice is cooked.
  4. Remove the garlic cloves before serving.


You can eat the garlic cloves separately - they're delicious.

Surprise Sources of Hidden Gluten

I’m not going to cover all the basics of gluten foods but if you’d like to read about my early journey with gluten, head over to my other site and read introduction to gluten free diet  or my gluten free journey.

There are so many ways you can get contaminated. I’m going to include the things that have affected me in one way or another but there will be more things lurking so keep your eyes open.

And please let me know in the comments if you can think of any that I should add to the list.

Food that you should be wary of and check carefully:

  • Chips – cross contamination or added in frozen chips
  • Crisps
  • Mix of nuts or frutos secos
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Crispy onions for sprinkling on salads
  • Commercial soups
  • Soy sauce isn’t gluten free unless it’s specified.
  • Ice cream.
  • Salad dressings: pre-made commercial salad dressings often contain gluten.
  • Sweets: including cough sweets. Halls cough sweets are not certified gluten free. They say that they change their suppliers frequently so cannot guarantee the absence of gluten. I was very disappointed when I discovered this!
  • Some spices and spice mixes.
  • Mustard – some are GF, some have wheat in them.
Surprise Listed Ingredients that can contain gluten
  • Malt. Anything with malt in it – milkshakes, malt flavouring in the listed ingredients, malt extract.
  • Malt vinegar
  • Some food colourings
  • Some food flavourings
  • Some starch
Alcoholic Drinks

You’ll read in many places on the net that distilled alcohol doesn’t contain gluten. In my opinion Don’t Believe It For a Second. I can’t drink any of the gluten-based distilled alcohols without getting extremely sick and there are millions more like me out there. It may be for a different reason than gluten, but whatever the reason, the effects are the same. Grain based alcohol glutens me out completely.

These are the alcohols that I can’t drink:

  • Whiskys, Bourbons etc
  • Some vodkas (so I avoid them all)
  • Flavoured Rums
  • Bacardi Silver
  • Baileys
  • Cocktails
  • Watch out for the gluten version of a  Mojito – even though it can be made gluten free, it can also have gluten in it.
  • Pre-mixed drinks sold in the bottle/can
Soft Drinks
  • Some lemonades – yes you read it right! Stick to the Coca Cola brand who state that all their soft drinks at the time of writing are gluten free.
  • Any mixed drinks should be treated with caution
Obscure things
  • Medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Lipstick and lip balms
  • Toothpastes
  • Shampoos

If you have any questions or thoughts on help I’ve been glutened, please leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you a.s.a.p.


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