This actually is a combination of two soup recipes I came across and adapted. I often serve it for Sunday dinner, making enough so there are leftovers for my husband's lunch thermos. He's a bricklayer and regularly works outside during winter. We're the parents of three children17, 16 and 11.
"My mother sent me some of this pretty dry blend along with the recipe," comments Susan Ruckert of Tangent, Oregon. "This hearty soup is thick with lentils, barley and peas, and chicken is a nice change from the usual ham."
Meet the Cook: Soups are one of my favorite things to prepare - they're so easy, and nothing is better on a chilly evening with some homemade bread or biscuits. I am only 26 and married for just a year, so I don't consider myself an "experienced" cook. But I do love to try new recipes with a country flair.
-Anita Warner, Mt. Crawford, Virginia
Suzanne Dabkowski of Blythewood, South Carolina found this good-for-you recipe in a men’s magazine and lightened it up. "I ate a lot of it when I was pregnant because it’s so tasty and loaded with fiber, vitamins and iron.” It also makes good use of low-sodium and low-fat ingredients.
Warm up loved ones on frosty winter nights with a gift of this hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup mix from our Test Kitchen. Layered in pretty bow-tied jars, it looks just as good as it tastes! Be sure to include preparation instructions and a list of any additional ingredients needed with your gift card.
This hearty and healthy soup will warm your family up right down to their toes! It’s packed with veggies and warm tastes of autumn. Serve with cornbread or rolls to soak up every last morsel. —Jan Valdez, Chicago
Lentil lovers will want a second bowl of this nourishing soup with a subtle touch of curry. It looks particularly appealing thanks to the color the fresh spinach adds. —Kim Russell, North Wales, Pennsylvania
This recipe is from a bean soup gift pack I developed as a fund-raiser for our church. We provide it along with the beans and a packet containing all the spices. The recipient just adds water and a can of tomatoes for a delicious pot of savory soup.
-Doris Cox, South Orange, New Jersey
Lentils are an inexpensive but nutritious power food, and these days, a hot, filling and flavorful family meal at a great price is a real comfort. My husband just loves this soup and it freezes well. —Donna Scarano, East Hanover, New Jersey