I’ve been friends with Michelle for 25 years. She has been with me through thick and thin. She’s seen me at my best and my worst and she’s still around.

She’s lived in another state for awhile and has made her way back to Texas for a short stay in between jobs. We are taking advantage of the opportunity to hang out in the flesh.

I think we get that our friendship is worth coming up with any good reason to be around each other.

She has gone running with me.

I’ve taken her to the new little “taco shack” I discovered.

We’ve upped our text messages to each other.

And we’ve recently decided to hold each other accountable with our eating.

So, we went grocery shopping to load up her fridge and mine with lots of food for our day of marathon cooking.

One of the dishes we made was Garden Vegetable Soup by Alton Brown. This is a great recipe that my family LOVES.

Since I talked yesterday on the podcast about making meals memorable and this day of cooking was exactly that, I thought I share it with you.

Just know that this recipe is a basic start. You can add whatever vegetables you like and then season to taste.

Y’all know I always feel free to season things up a bit more if need be.

First we did the shopping.

Then we did the chopping and dicing.


Once we got all the prep done, we starting sautéing then dumped the rest of the veggies to cook.

We doubled the recipe so there would be plenty for us to eat and plenty of leftovers for later.

The best thing about all of the prep was that it gave us time to chat it up a bit. Pandora playing in the background and kids running into the kitchen stealing carrots made it even better.



I don’t mind cooking most of the time but I really LIKE cooking when I have the opportunity to do it with a friend.

Friends make food fun.


Here’s the recipe. I encourage you to grab a friend to chat and chop with too! The food will be good for your body and the company will be good for your soul.


Alton Brown’s Garden Vegetable Soup


4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
Kosher salt
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth (I used my own homemade broth)
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.