I play around with ingredients in my pantry instead of running to the store when I don’t know what’s for dinner. Here's a happy experiment. Cut some fat by leaving out the bacon. It's still tasty. —Barbara Banski, Fenton, Michigan
This creamy soup brings my family to the table in a hurry. I love the warming zip of cayenne, but it also tastes terrific without it if you like milder flavor. With a few simple side dishes, this soup is a full meal.
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
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
"This thick colorful chowder was so well received the first time I made it that some of us had to go without seconds," notes Kera Bredin of Vancouver, British Columbia. "Now I make this hearty soup often."
This recipe is one of my family's favorites. The chowder is chock-full of potatoes, ham and carrots. I like to make this comforting soup at least once or twice a month during the fall and winter. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska
When we lived in Michigan, this was a perfect comforting soup when blustery winds blew into town. The steaming bowls of soup warmed up icy toes just right! The Taste of Home Test Kitchen came up with this lighter version. —Christine Schenher, San Clemente, California
I entered the recipe for this hearty soup in a contest sponsored by my hometown newspaper. I won first place and contributed the prize money to the area shelter for women and children.—Beth Jenkins-Horsley, Belmont, North Carolina
Chock-full of veggies, ham and cheese in every spoonful, this thick, creamy chowder from Elaine Krupsky of Las Vegas, Nevada, will take the chill off even the nippiest of fall evenings. Serve with crusty French bread.