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 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
You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. But—on cold winter evenings here in New England—I've often poured a steaming mugful and enjoyed sipping it in front of our fireplace as well.
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