Chicken Soup (An Ode to Roseclair McGowan)

I LOVE soup! I associate it with wholesomeness, with warmth, with goodness. And I associate it with my grandmother. She is all of those things. See, when I was little(r), I used to go to town on Saturdays with my mom. On the way, we would pick up Ma to run errands, together. When hunger struck, there was only one place to go – The Spot on Burnaby Street. My mom varied in what she’d order. I’d be that child thinking diner food was the biggest treat of all time and order a hamburger and french fries. This was back when The Spot made their patties freshly from ground beef. Without fail, Ma ordered the soup of the day, and a roll. That’s how I learned that soup was a good thing. She not only made huge batches to share in recycled glass jars with her grateful family during the cooler months. She even ordered it when she could have had french fries!

Did I mention that I love soup? Many of the most delicious kinds are oh so simple to make. In my first year in London, my (now) friend Alexandra offered me a bowl of soup when I stopped by to borrow a textbook. I knew then and there that she was my kinda people. The base of this recipe is hers that she shared with me on that wet London night. You should go ahead and have a turn to test and play with it, taking grains in and out as you may fancy. I’ve also used kale here. I’m madly in love and think it makes many meals ‘prettier’. (Yes, she used the word pretty to describe soup). Plus, who doesn’t want to edge their bodies toward alkalinity*?

I never was one to appreciate noodles in soup. I usually use brown rice, but this time I really wanted soup and only had quinoa (which isn’t really a grain, but whatevs). It works so well! Add it in right at simmer time, and stir once or twice. Soooooooo good.



A note on quinoa: rinse it first! Outside of soup it takes approximately 20 minutes to cook, so use that as a marker if you use it in soup-making.

Chicken Soup with kale and quinoa

extra virgin olive oil

1 onion

5-6 garlic cloves

3 carrots

6-7 stalks of celery

6 roasted chicken thighs, with the skin on

water and stock cubes  (2)  OR veg/chicken broth to cover the veg and chicken

1 cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa

kale (a colander full)

bunch of parsley, chopped

sea salt

juice of half a lemon


  • Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.
  • Add onions and garlic to the hot oil, and stir around til the mix becomes fragrant

Onions + Garlic

  • Add carrots and celery, sautee to soften slightly
  • Add the chicken
  • Cover with water + stock or vegetable or chicken broth, bring to boil
  • Lower heat to allow soup to simmer
  • Add quinoa, let cook in simmering pot
  • Add kale
  • Add parsley


  • Serve (in bowls DUH!) sprinkled with sea salt and fresh lemon juice


*Toxins have a positive ionic charge, whereas fruits and vegetables have a negative ionic charge. Vegetables like kale attract toxins that would otherwise remain in our bodies, and lift them up and out of our cells. This is on step in the whole detoxification process.


4 thoughts on “Chicken Soup (An Ode to Roseclair McGowan)

  1. I love soup too!! My nana still makes her Christmas soup which seems to have every meat and veg in it. I tried to copy her split pea recipe once and although mine came out nice, it surely was nothing compared to nana’s.

  2. mmmhhhh. i know what im gonna try making when im on holiday… this sounds great. and i never knew that you shud be conscious of ur alkalinity… interesting.
    this is awesome. i want more blogs!!

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