This dish comes in handy for luncheons in summer since it's so colorful and refreshing. I prepare it a day ahead using garden vegetables. The flavor gets even better as it sits in the refrigerator overnight.
-Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
For a unique first course, serve this colorful soup from Carole Benson, Cabazon, California. Chilled V-8 juice is the base for this soup that's chock-full of generous chunks of chopped tomatoes, green pepper and cucumber. "Garnish each bowl with shrimp for a fancy finish," suggests Carole.
I really enjoy gazpacho a lot. Sometime I make this soup on Sunday evening and then take it to school for lunch all week. The crunchy vegetables in the tomato base just add a healthy item to my menu.—Susan Ferrell, Tampa, Florida
"Simple-as-can-be" best describes this hearty cold soup from Chris Brooks of Prescott, Arizona. "You just chop and combine the ingredients, then chill," she advises. "It tastes great with crunchy croutons or breadsticks."
Betty Hatfield of Aurora, Colorado combines fresh veggies, garbanzo beans and purchased salsa in the zippy party dip. Served with tortilla chips, it's a surefire crowd-pleaser. "I found this recipe years ago and have been making it ever since," she says. "It's one of my husband's favorites."