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
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
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
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 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
This is a wonderful fall or winter meal, served with thick slices of warm homemade bread. The recipe evolved over the years as I added to it. I often double it and freeze what we don't eat. That way, I can throw some in a pot for a quick meal or if unexpected guests drop by. —Emily Chaney, Penobscot, Maine
I'm grateful that my mother taught me to make these wonderful old-fashioned noodles, which were a big favorite of mine when I was growing up. They give the chicken soup a delightful down-home flavor.
—Cindy Renfrow, Sussex, New Jersey