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
Soup makes for a cheerful party hors d'oeuvre when served in a small vessel like an espresso cup. With a dollop of whipped cream, it looks like a frothy cappuccino. For accompanying recipes, entertaining tips and a video, visit tasteofhome.com/katielee. —Katie Lee
"This soup is a variation on one I found years ago in a health cookbook," says Laura Christensen from Bountiful, Utah. "It tastes so good, no one can believe how low in fat and salt it is! We love it served in a bread bowl...or with oven-fresh corn muffins on the side."
Steaming bowls of homemade soup are less than an hour away when you have this lovely layered soup mix on hand. You won't miss the meat in this hearty soup featuring lentils and barley.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
"After a busy day of running errands and cleaning, I wanted something fast but hearty for dinner," explains Quincy, Michigan's Sue Fuller. "I combined prepared meatballs with canned soup, mushrooms and seasonings. My husband loved my creation and thought I spent hours preparing it."
Gloria transforms the sauce and one of the remaining steaks into this spectacular soup, which she serves with a tossed salad and fresh-baked rolls. Topped with Swiss cheese and croutons, the nicely seasoned soup can't be beat.