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, Oreg
My grandmother used to make a similar classic Greek soup, avgolemono, every Sunday after church. Here’s my version of her recipe. The kids and I came up with this variation while experimenting with different ingredients. I think my yia-yia would be proud. —Nick Haros, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
This bold-flavored chili is so stuffed with beans and spices that I bet no one notices the missing meat. I like to serve it with either crackers, tortilla chips, cornbread or grilled cheese sandwiches.—Frederick Hilliard, Charleston, West Virginia
Joan Anderson of West Covina, California, shares this creamy soup featuring leftover cooked chicken. “Tarragon really brightens the flavor,” she says. “I serve it as a main dish with crusty bread. It’s fabulous!”
Looking for a filling, meatless meal in a bowl? Ladle up this delicious soup. It's a treasured favorite with my husband, five kids and grandkids—and guaranteed to warm body and soul. —Darlene Wiese-Appleby, Creston, Ohio
"My husband and I have never been fond of tomato soup, but we think this one is out of this world," says Chris Nelson from Alliance, Ohio. "Since a friend gave me the recipe a while back, I've made a batch every week. It's good as an appetizer or paired with a sandwich or salad at lunchtime."
Surprise Christmas dinner guests with puff pastry "packages" that blanket bowls of Creamy Garlic & Mushroom Soup. Our Test Kitchen also stirred in a bit of sherry to heighten the soup's wonderful flavor.
After tinkering with three different recipes, I came up with this warming rich, dark brown broth with hearty mushrooms, barley and onions. It’s a beefy tasting soup for my meat loving husband, completely vegan for me and healthy for both of us. It can simmer all day in a crock pot or be served up right after preparation.