lemon curry chicken soup

Our Anniversary Getaway and a Pot of Chicken Soup


lemon curry chicken soup

There’s no better time to make a big pot of soup than a rainy Sunday morning here on the avocado ranch! Just chop up some onions, celery, and carrots…and take a look in the pantry to see what might be good with the chicken!


We’re so happy to have a day of rain … every drop helps us with the challenging drought here in California.  The other reason we love rain is that we can take some time away from the farm,  since the trees won’t need to be irrigated while the rain is falling!

This weekend we are celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe it has been such a long time since our wedding day!  Where did the time go?   Our children were born in the first 6 years,  and then we were busy doing the things that all busy families do.  Even when our children were young, we would try to get away by ourselves for a few hours or overnight to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  This year we decided at the last minute to drive up to  Huntington Beach,  only about an hour away.

Hilton Huntington Beach

About an hour before we were ready to leave on Thursday, I called the Hilton Waterfront Resort to reserve a room with my Hilton Honors points.   When I  told the reservations agent that we were  celebrating our 33rd anniversary, he congratulated me on “quite an achievement” and upgraded our room to a waterfront suite!  There was even a bottle of champagne and a note of congratulations in our room when we checked in a few hours later!  (Thank you, Hilton!  This is one reason I love the Hilton Honors program…)



We arrived just as the sun was setting!  As the sun gets lower in the sky,  the silhouette of Catalina Island magically appears out there in the ocean.

Catalina-appear-Jan82015 Catalina Island is  26 miles from the coast of California, but  those mountains appear much closer when the sun is behind them!


With the beach right across the street, we could enjoy watching the surf from our balcony.  We were able to see  north to Palos Verdes and south to Laguna!  Even though it’s winter, there were plenty of surfers in the water, riding the waves.

waterfront We expected to leave the resort for our meals, but the onsite Shades Restaurant had such wonderful food and service that we kept going back. The wine list was presented on an IPad, including some boutique wineries we had never tried before. They even had entertainment in the evening.  Perfect for a last-minute relaxing getaway!

It’s nice to get away from work and everyday routine, even for just a day or two,  to enjoy some of the attractions of southern California.  It’s good to get home again and make a pot of soup in my own kitchen.  Yes, it even feels good to get back to work!  A change of scenery makes all the difference!

chicken soup


Do you like to make up new soup recipes?  I start with the basic ingredients and then add whatever I might have in the pantry or fridge.  Today I used a package of Lemon-Curry Quinoa that I received from Roland Foods a while ago and a package of Steamed Black-Eyed Peas from Melissa’s.  This soup has wonderful flavor and it’s gluten free too!


Lemon-Curry Chicken Soup with Black-Eyed Peas


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

4 carrots, chopped

2 lbs. frozen  boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 cups water

1 teaspoon rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

64 ounces (2 32 oz. containers)  chicken stock

1 package Roland Foods Lemon-Curry Quinoa

1 package Melissa’s steamed black-eyed peas


In a large saucepan or stock pot,  sauté the onions, celery, and carrots for about 5 minutes. Then add  the frozen chicken thighs and water, rosemary and thyme.  Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for about an hour, or until the chicken is tender.  Pour the stock into the pot and bring to a boil.  Add the package of Lemon-Curry Quinoa, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.   Give the pot a stir, and add the black-eyed peas.  Simmer for 10 more minutes and serve hot.


I was not required to write this post, nor was I compensated.   Hilton Waterfront Resort provided a wonderful 2 day getaway without knowing that I’m a blogger….but as a Hilton Honors member I wanted to share our experience with my readers.  Melissa’s sent me some Steamed Black-Eyed Peas to use in a recipe challenge and Roland Foods sent me Lemon-Curry Quinoa to try as well.  All opinions and experiences are mine. 

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