"I combine and refrigerate the ingredients for this easy chowder the night before," notes Mary Hogue of Rochester, Pennsylvania. "In the morning, I pour the mixture into the slow cooker and turn it on before I leave for work. When I come home, a hot tasty meal awaits."
At our Pittsburgh competition, Lori Kimble's rich and satisfying chowder took top honors. She relates, "This family favorite is perhaps the easiest recipe for clam chowder that I have ever made. Served with sourdough bread, it's especially delicious."
Economics had a lot to do with what we ate when I was growing up in New Hampshire during the Depression. Money may have been scarce, but fish was plentiful and affordable, so that's how we began eating this dish. When meat rationing came along in World War II, fish chowder again became a staple in our household. Fortunately, my family loved it...it still is one of my favorites!
Each fall there's a Lima Bean Festival in nearby West Cape May to honor the many growers there and showcase different recipes using their crop. This comforting chowder was a festival recipe contest winner several years ago.
—Kathleen Olsack, North Cape May, New Jersey
I simmer my rich and creamy shrimp soup in the slow cooker. Because the chowder is ready in less than 4 hours, it can be prepared in the afternoon and served to dinner guests that night. —Will Zunio, Gretna, Louisiana
This creamy comforting chowder is thick with potatoes, carrots, green beans and corn. My mother served it on chilly evenings with warm French bread. Leftovers, if there are any, taste just as good and make a great lazy-day lunch.
-Sara Phillips, Topeka, Kansas
"EVERYONE in my wife's family is a corn lover, so her mom came up with this wonderful recipe to satisfy their appetites. With the bacon, sausage and potatoes, it's hearty enough to be a one-pot meal, but it's also really good with the chicken."
This creamy chowder brimming with tender potato and crab tastes so good guests will never guess it starts with canned soup. Half-and-half cream makes it rich enough for special occasions. I often serve it with crackers or French bread after a sporting event or outing.
-Irene Craigue, Claremont, New Hampshire
For a great, quick meals for those cool fall and winter days, try this easy soup. The cauliflower and ham compliment each other well and you will always want a second helping.—Patty Woytassek, Havana, North Dakota