Whenever I order soup at a restaurant, I go for broccoli-cheese. I finally put my slow cooker to the test and made my own. It took a few tries, but now the soup is exactly how I like it. —Kristen Hills, Layton, Utah
This original recipe of mine was a winner in a barley soup contest. Barley makes it hearty and nutritious - and it's a good way to use broccoli and asparagus from your garden.
I'm a member of Dairy Women of North Dakota and enjoy creating and collecting recipes in which I can use our farm's products. Along with our dairy operation, husband Ronald and I and our two sons grow barley, wheat, corn, alfalfa and soybeans.
"My husband and I find this great soup a tasty way to add nutritious broccoli to our diet. It's so thick and filling that all you need to complete the meal is a salad and bread," writes Diane Ventimiglia of Atlanta, Michigan.
In New England we frequently have cool fall evenings that call for a dinner that warms you all over. This chowder does that. I must admit I don't care too much for the taste of broccoli, but I really like this chowder.
I invented this soup accidentally! Actually, it came about when I was new to cooking, and didn't know that "chowder" was a kind of soup—so I made mashed potatoes to go with the dish I was making. We ended up dunking our mashed potatoes into the soup as "gravy"—and it was delicious!—Karen Davies, Wanipigow, Manitoba
"My daughter relies on a boxed rice mix to get a head start on this rich and colorful soup," reports Janet Sawyer from Dysart, Iowa. "She likes to serve it to friends after football games in autumn, but it's a favorite with our family anytime of year."