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A couple nights a week our family ends up eating in shifts because everyone is going every which way, all at the same time. Having a hearty soup simmering in the slow cooker is an easy way to give them all a warm meal.—Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
My daughter Kayla saw a black bean chili while watching a cooking show and called me about it because it looked so good. We messed with our own recipe until we got this easy winner. —Lisa Belcastro, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
Simmer up the earthy flavor of fresh mushrooms and the richness of Brie cheese in one delicious, creamy soup. I serve big bowlfuls to warm up everyone on chilly days.—Maria Emmerich, River Falls, Wisconsin
The taste of beer is subtle, but it's just enough to complement the cheese in this rich and creamy soup. For a slightly sweeter version, you can use apple juice instead of beer. —Holly Lewis, Swink, Colorado
We have a large avocado tree outside our house, which is very common in southern California, so I like to put them to good use in recipes. To give the soup an elegant touch, top it with edible flowers.
I love cooking, and often share my soups with my co-workers—and they're happy I do. This one is perfect for late summer, because it has a lot of zippy flavor but isn't as heavy as chili. I use my homegrown cayenne peppers in the recipe. —Lori Steiner, Maquoketa, Iowa