"Once a year, I invite my relatives—about 25 people in all—for soup day to honor my late husband's birthday. I make three soups, including comforting Beef Barley Soup," writes Louise Laplante of Hanmer, Ontario. "It's loaded with chunks of beef and chopped veggies."
This soup is packed with flavor. Thanks to convenience products, it’s perfect for a weeknight supper, but it would also make a tasty lunch some snowy Saturday. —Joanne Meehan, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
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
As a pastor's wife, I never miss a church supper. This vegetable-beef soup is my family's favorite. It's also a big favorite with the First Baptist Church "family" here in Alton! Sometimes, I will stir up a kettleful of soup at our local campground, too—it tastes wonderful indoors or out.
On the cooler nights of spring, it’s heartwarming to enjoy a bowl of hot, homemade soup like this one from our Test Kitchen. It’s easy to make, using convenience foods like canned tomatoes and frozen green beans. It’s versatile, too. You can opt for chicken and chicken broth instead of beef and substitute your favorite veggies.
"Folks who like their chili hot really get a kick out of this zippy recipe," pens Amy Baxter of Bishop, California. "I serve steaming bowls of it with oven-fresh corn bread. It's chockfull of garden goodness—with two kinds of squash , tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, etc.—that you can leave out the meat altogether and not miss it a bit."