Why Katherine Hall Chose to Make Soup…
By Diane Merrin
The next time you are faced with shelf, after shelf, after shelf of soup choices, look at Hall’s Kitchen soups and say to yourself, “Any woman who suffered for her craft, endured a car accident and – almost as bad – hospital food, but ended up being inspired to make fresh soup out of the ordeal…is my kind of girl!” As you can imagine, there’s a story behind all of this…
Katherine Hall became a chef at the young age of just 24. Her love of cooking and a fine appreciation for food began as a child. Hence, she found her situation agonizing after an accident left her confined to her bed where she was forced to eat hospital food for several weeks.
In her mid 30’s and at the height of her career as a chef, Katherine was involved in quite a serious car accident. She remained in hospital for over a month recovering from her injuries. She maintained that the care the doctors and nurses gave her was outstanding, but that the hospital food was simply horrific! Katherine was unable to chew solid food and so everything had to be puréed. Not a large woman to start with, Katherine quickly shrunk to a wispy 98 pounds after just a few weeks in hospital.
She remembers one time when they brought her dinner. After tasting it Katherine asked what it was.
“It’s puréed lasagna,” was the reply.
“Puréed lasagna?!! Oh no, I’m sorry but I just cannot eat that,” Katherine replied as politely as she could.
Thankfully, Katherine had some very good friends that would bring her delicious homemade soups for the remaining time that she stayed in hospital.
“If it weren’t for my friends and all of their fabulous soups, I’m sure I would have died of starvation! At that time and due to the state that I was in, those soups tasted like the best food I’d ever eaten in my entire life!” Katherine exclaims.
So, when many years later Katherine was thinking about starting up a specialty food business, it was soup that stood out for her and was what she wanted to make for people.
“Soup saved my life!” She claims. “It’s the ultimate comfort food. When you’re hurt, or sick, or maybe just feeling down, a hot bowl of soup will cure what ails you. It makes you feel warm all over, it comforts and soothes you. People love soup, particularly when they’re not at their best. As it’s usually full of vegetables and fibre, it’s one of the healthiest meals we can eat.”
She and her partner, Kitt Ritchie, started their specialty food business in the spring of 2009 and called it “Hall’s Kitchen”, a combination of Katherine’s last name “Hall” and of course a play on “Hell’s Kitchen”. The company produces a delightful array of fresh gourmet, vegan soups and stews that are not only incredibly delicious, but highly nutritious!
Hall’s Kitchen soups and stews are widely available across Ontario and Quebec and can also be found in stores all across Canada.