Green, sweet red and yellow peppers give this hearty chili a splash of color. I often fix it for my grandsons. Because they don't like spicy chili, I use mild salsa, but try it with a hotter variety if you prefer. —Richard Rundels, Waverly, Ohio
A few years ago, a friend at work shared the recipe for this wonderful soup. With beef, barley and vegetables, it's hearty enough to be a meal. A big steaming bowl with a slice of crusty bread is so satisfying on a cold day.
-Lynn Thomas, London, Ontario
The big fresh-mushroom flavor of this soup sets it apart from other recipes I've tried. After preparing this family favorite for guests, I frequently get recipe requests.
-Elsie Cathrea, Elmira, Ontario
Meet the Cook: Soup is tops on the list of things I love to cook. I've used this one as the beginning course to a meal...and as a Sunday supper with hot rolls and butter. When we had a small restaurant in Arizona, I made my mushroom soup every day. We never had any left over. It got raves at a deli I worked at, too. I never cooked very much until my husband and I were married, 48 years ago. We're the parents of three grown sons and the grandparents of 12.
-Beverly Rafferty, Winston, Oregon
My daughter shared this delightful recipe with me. Its rich broth, big mushroom taste and medley of vegetables make this chowder a little different from ordinary mushroom soup.
-Romaine Wetzel, Ronks, Pennsylvania
Chock-full of veggies, ham and cheese in every spoonful, this thick, creamy chowder from Elaine Krupsky of Las Vegas, Nevada, will take the chill off even the nippiest of fall evenings. Serve with crusty French bread.
Even those who don't like mushrooms like this soup! I've found it's a great first course when I have friends over.
Our home is a hobby farm with a view of Mississippi River bluffs. We have three daughters—20, 19 and 16.