Faith & Chicken Soup

tortilla soup

People who have religion and a strong faith in God are to be admired. It seems they can weather any storm, any hardship and all tragic events that come into their lives. They believe in God’s plan and that God is in control. They trust in God. They understand this world is not paradise and pain and death and dying are inevitable. They believe suffering happens for a reason. Each crisis is looked upon as a learning experience and a reminder that following in the steps of Jesus Christ brings relief and hope.

Honestly, I hate God’s plan for me and every other mother who has lost a child. As spiritual as I am I am not particularly religious. Raised by a strict Catholic mother and a father who thought the Catholic church was nothing more than a big business my upbringing was filled with catechism questions and doubts. In fact, later in life, all I ever prayed was, “Please Lord keep my children safe”, so you can imagine my current dilemma. As much as I tried to get religion, I am my father’s daughter and can’t rely on faith to help me through this.  However, William believed in God and that has helped. In his final preparations for his Afghanistan deployment he carefully packed his favorite prayers. He relied on God to get him through a crisis. He was also prepared to die believing that we would all see each other again. The thought that I will see him again warms my heart and fills me with joy. Walking in his light and being more like him–maybe that is God’s plan.

found in his fatigue pocket

found in his fatigue pocket

well used in Afghanistan; found in his wallet

well used in Afghanistan; found in his wallet


The weather has turned cold. Time for a comforting soup. Quinoa Chicken Chowder warms the soul while nourishing the body. It’s important to take care of oneself before, during and after the storm and an easy one-pot meal that includes all the food groups helps. Enjoy this award winning recipe. It dates back to 1997 and took first place in the Gold Kist Farms Winning Taste Recipe Contest.

Quinoa Chicken Chowder

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 large onion, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 whole dried chipotle pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth

1 cup fresh, frozen or canned corn, drained

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

crisp tortilla chips, optional

Melt butter in Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat. Add chicken, quinoa, potato, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until chicken is no longer pink. Add broth and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and potatoes are tender. Add milk, salt and pepper; cook until just heated through. Remove and discard chipotle pepper (or if you like it hot mince it up and add back to the soup). Stir in cilantro. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with cheese and tortillas. Serves 4 to 6.

14 thoughts on “Faith & Chicken Soup

  1. Hi Lisa, your blog is so inspiring that I sent the link to my oldest son’s girlfriend, who’s father recently died in a horrible accident. And, I love your recipes! Gonna make this soup this week!

    • The unanticipated death of her dad makes it all the more difficult. I am sure she thinks about her future and all the plans that would have included her dad. When those dreams are not realized it is another kind of loss. I hope you like my soup recipe.

  2. Through sharing your delicious recipes and thoughts you’re enriching lives just as you enriched his during his time on Earth. Your writings and recipes bring a feeling of comfort with them. I know he is looking down and reading this blog, smiling at your talent and willingness to reach out and share with others. Both the soup and the photograph look amazing! I’ve been trying to work quinoa into more meals for my familly and will definately give this a try.

    • Thank you so much for your kind support. Quinoa is such a delicious and easy to use ancient grain that is higher in protein than most other grains. It can be easily substituted for rice.

  3. The connection to God and your spiritual being can be found in many ways outside of a building called “church”. It is in a memory shared, a recipe created, a cookie or stone shaped like a heart, a penny found or the words of a friend who has been to “hell” and is finding her way back. Keep following the light Lisa. Peace and Hope…

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