My mother is an excellent cook who rarely follows a recipe exactly. My two sisters and I do the same thing, adding something here, omitting something there. With this soup, I sometimes leave out the bacon and butter, and have used canned corn and creamed corn with good results. We like to eat this soup with big soft hot pretzels instead of crackers. —Sharon Rose Brand, Stayton, Oregon
"White Bean 'n' Ham Soup, for example is a winner on all three levels," she explains. "It's economical quick and yummy!"
Bissy notes that while canned beans make this hearty main dish a fast fix, you can say money by soaking and cooking dry beans instead.
"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."
My husband has always loved split pea soup, but I never cared for it—until I came across this recipe. The combination of flavors is so tasty that even I have to admit to liking it.—Holly Dow, Presque Isle, Maine