Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois
Here's a real gem! After tasting a similar soup at a popular restaurant in the Twin Cities, I came up with my own version. Everyone who tastes it says it's wonderful. Adding the almonds at the end gives the soup a fun crunch.
-Nicole Weir, Hager City, Wisconsin
Special seasonings set this flavorful soup apart from any others I've tried. It makes a nice big batch, so it's perfect when feeding a crowd. Plus, leftovers freeze well. - Del Mason, Martensville, Saskatchewan
This recipe is the culmination of several years' worth of experimenting to get just the right flavor. For those who like their chili very hot, the secret is to add more jalapenos. The most I ever used in a recipe was five...was it ever spicy - Liesha Hoek, Somerset, New Jersey
Meet the Cook: We also call this 2-Day Bean Chowder, since it can be started in the afternoon, chilled overnight and finished off the next day - if you can wait to taste it!
-Joe Ann Heavrin, Memphis, Tennessee
Kell Ferell of Alamo, North Dakota drives 80 miles round-trip every day for her job, so she needs quick, healthy dishes to fix for her family.
"This is a huge favorite," she pens. "If I don't have leftover chicken, I simply boil or poach some chicken breasts. I use the cooking liquid to replace part of the water in the recipe to add even more flavor."
The beauty of this soup is that you can roast the vegetables separately in the oven while it's simmering away. Then I simply add them in during the last minutes on the stovetop. I love that the roasted vegetables keep their own bright flavors that add to this earthy bowl of warmth. —Gayla Scott, West Jefferson, North Carolina
When we lived in Michigan, this was a perfect comforting soup when blustery winds blew into town. The steaming bowls of soup warmed up icy toes just right! The Taste of Home Test Kitchen came up with this lighter version. —Christine Schenher, San Clemente, California
Even my father, who doesn't particularly like soup, enjoys my full-flavored version of traditional vegetable soup. He asked me to share the recipe with Mom, and I gladly obliged! - Dana Simmons, Lancaster, Ohio