My grandmother used to make a similar classic Greek soup (Avgolemono) every Sunday after church. Here's my version of her recipe that the kids and I came up with while tooling around with different ingredients. I think my Yia-Yia would be proud.—Nick Haros, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
"I first tasted this sunny-looking soup at a luncheon hosted by a good friend," writes Linda Nilsen of Anoka, Minnesota. "It's simple and superb when served warm with a dollop of sour cream...or you can chill it for a refreshing change of pace in summer."
While creating this crowd-pleasing soup, I was trying to keep in mind a variety of textures, colors and flavors. Its sweet tomato base brims with chicken, broccoli, corn and a couple kinds of beans. It's especially tasty if you garnish it with shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon.
-Connie Johnson, Springfield, Missouri
Alice Jarrell of Dexter, Missouri waited a long time to get this favorite recipe—but it was well worth it. "I had eaten this soup countless times at a small restaurant in our town," she tells. "When the owner finally retired, he said I deserved the secret recipe and passed it along. Now, my family enjoys it at least once a month!"—Alice Jarrell, Dexter, Missouri
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."
Meet the Cook: A favorite at soup night at our church, this recipe's one my husband concocted after he retired. (We have four children plus two grandchildren and another on the way.) I frequently find it on the table when I get home from work.
-Rosalie Biar, Thorndale, Texas
My husband doesn't care for traditional tomato soup, but he loves this rich, fresh-tasting version. It has an unexpected chicken-broth base and appealing chunks of tomatoes. It's an excellent first course and a great light lunch with a salad and garlic bread.
You can prepare soup, make dips and even season meats with this handy mix from June Mullins of Livonia, Missouri. "My grandchildren really enjoy it as a coating on oven-roasted potatoes," she says. "It's an inexpensive substitute for the envelopes you get at the store."