Vegetable Soup

garbage soup.

that was the name i gave the dish i made most often when i first moved to the city. i’m a real martha stewart if you haven’t figured it out by now.


when i first came to chicago, i didn’t know anything. i had one friend who lived in the suburb. i didn’t know where to go, or anything about the neighborhoods, or what the best restaurants were. it was honestly really terrifying and a little lonely. looking back, i’m proud of myself for building the life i have.

anyway. i started cooking more than ever before, especially on sundays. sundays were long days for me when i first moved here, the loneliest days. i remember feeling utterly lost one sunday and i called my dad. he told me to just go for a walk – that is my family’s answer to everything and we swear by it – you always feel better after a walk. it’s true. he told me to go explore – because as soon as you start to explore then the next time you’ll recognize things, and know where you’re headed, and then one day they’re familiar, and before you know it – you’re not lost anymore.

so i did – every sunday. i would choose a direction and just walk. no destination in mind, no pre-planned stops. and it helped.


and then i would cook because cooking is one way i learned how to show love and i needed that. there’s a comfort in it to me, it’s therapy. the only thing is, i didn’t have a lot of money. i was an intern. and i’m proud to say that rather than survive off lean cuisines and frozen pizza, i bought a lot of vegetables. they’re cheap and healthy and honestly, really versatile.

so more often than i’d care to admit, i’d take all of those vegetables – whatever i had – and i’d make garbage soup. kale, leeks, tomatoes, spinach, beans – you name it, i’ve probably made a concoction of it. it was fresh, easy, comforting and healthy.

this is an upgraded, more sophisticated version of it but it’s still all of those things.

i actually almost named this post garbage soup, but then i remembered the idea is to have people actually want to make the food i post.

Vegetable Soup
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  • (it's garbage soup, so make it your own with whatever you have on hand)
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1 1/2 cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. combine everything in a big old pot. have at it.


  1.' says

    This is so sweet, Megan! Your story reminds me of when I first moved to NYC for my first job and I, too, didn’t know anyone or anything and although it was pretty lonely, it was also pretty empowering to be a young woman being brave in a big city. It was the week between Xmas and New Years–just like it is now!–and the few people I knew were mostly away or otherwise preoccupied. So I created a project for myself to go to a movie every day for the week–it was a great project because it kept me occupied and it got me out, learning the different neighborhoods and figuring out public transit. Mostly, I walked a lot–and as for you, it really helped.

    Your post also reminds me of a “garbage soup” that I once made and which, along with my brother, taught me about salt. Here’s my post about it:


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