Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step further-add crab. 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
“My husband is not a soup-for-dinner kind of guy, but he loves this chunky, stick-to-your-ribs soup,” laughs Nancy Tafoya in Fort Collins, Colorado. “I always serve it with a warm loaf of homemade bread.”
Make the most of leftover turkey with this down-home soup. Creating a broth by roasting the turkey, garlic and vegetables adds richness and depth to the flavor without the need for additional fats. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
A meal in itself, here's a hearty soup from Reuben Tsujimura in Walla Walla, Washington that's chock-full of good-for-you veggies and vitamins. Serve with crunchy breadsticks and no one will even miss the meat!
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
Vegetables and herbs fresh from my garden make this one of our favorite soups. This recipe makes a lot, so it's perfect for large gatherings or to freeze in smaller containers for fast meals.—Virginia Bauer, Botkins, Ohio
Meet the Cook: My husband and I lived for 11 years in the Arctic, where there was very little fresh produce and I had to order non-perishable groceries for a year ahead of time. This hearty soup - a meal in itself served with warm rolls - became a staple in our diet because it requires ingredients I could easily find.
-Lil Morris, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
Many games involve letters, so I thought alphabet soup would be ideal to serve at my theme party, which included an evening of playing board games and cards. I concocted the hearty soup using ingredients I had on hand.
"I'm always inventing new recipes or improving on old ones," says Sharon Richardson of Dallas, Texas. "Since the BLT is a family favorite, I created a soup with all the flavors of the sandwich. But I gave it extra zip by adding picante sauce."