Spicy bean, pesto and vegetable soup, with swiss chard – a gluten-free, vegan recipe

bean soup editedI was in the mood for soup so I whipped up this in no time flat! Super easy to make, and full of flavour!

Add less vegetable broth if you prefer — the soup becomes more chili-like.


  • 3 large French shallots (or regular onions if you haven’t any shallots), roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 leeks, greens removed, whites sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes, preferably salt-free, do not drain!
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock, preferably salt free
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in cubes
  • 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in cubes
  • 1 can Romano beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups (500 mL) dried, soaked overnight if you haven’t any canned)
  • 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups (500 mL) dried, soaked overnight if you haven’t any canned)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped very fine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
  • 1/4 tsp chili oil, or more if you like things really spicy. Chili powder can be used if you don’t have chili oil, just add slowly until you have the taste you desire.
  • 1 tbsp pesto, canned or homemade
  • if you used salted tomatoes or vegetable broth, you probably don’t need any salt. If you used salt-free, add salt to taste. Frankly I don’t think this recipe needs any salt.
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • rice pasta (optional)


  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and leeks, saute until soft.
  2. Add tomatoes, the juice from the can, the stock to the pot, the parsley and the thyme. Bring to a low boil.
  3. Add vegetables to the pot, simmer until carrots are soft, time will depend on how thick you sliced the carrots
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (but NOT the rice pasta) to the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile boil the rice pasta as per package instructions.
  6. To serve, add a bit of the rice pasta to the bottom of the bowl, pour soup over top of the rice. Don’t forget to discard the thyme springs! Nobody wants them in their bowl.
  7. ENJOY!

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Crazy Orange Turtle’s gluten free BBQ sauce recipe

gluten free bbq sauce

Today both myself and my other half had a craving for sloppy joes. These are a once or twice a year treat in my house, and they are always made with super lean turkey or chicken, not ground beef. The problem: I need a gluten free BBQ sauce to make my sandwiches. have never enjoyed the canned sloppy joe sauce, and always made my own BBQ type sauce for the dish. The problem was that my recipe contained not one, not two, but three gluten containing ingredients! I needed a new recipe fast. I have only just begun my gluten free journey, and the few books I bought about gluten free diets didn’t contain a recipe for anything remotely similar to a BBQ sauce. So, I winged it. It was the best sloppy joe sauce ever! I served my better half the sloppy joe on a homemade roll , but I had mine without bread. Not because I couldn’t make my own gluten free roll, but because I really wasn’t hungry enough for all of those carbohydrates. I am definitely going to be making this recipe to top chicken, steak, ribs and anything else that I might like to put BBQ sauce on in the future. Very good, but the recipe is technically a little ordinary — its very good but nothing fancy! So it can’t be a perfect 10. As you are aware, 10 is reserved for the spectacular recipes — or chocolate.
TURTLE TASTE TEST RATING: 8 out of 10 shells

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