This refreshing salad is excellent for a summer cookout. Since you mix it ahead, the flavors have time to blend and there's no last minute fussing. My friends ask me to bing it every time we get together for a meal.
—Teresa Fischer, Munster, Indiana
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."