Each fall there's a Lima Bean Festival in nearby West Cape May to honor the many growers there and showcase different recipes using their crop. This comforting chowder was a festival recipe contest winner several years ago.
—Kathleen Olsack, North Cape May, New Jersey
Chowders and stew are my specialty, because I enjoy making use of the bounty at hand—especially the wonderful variety of seafood from the cold waters of the North Atlantic, I devised this recipe years ago, and it remains one of my favorites. I often make it for my daughters and their families when they visit.
You don’t have to be Italian to love this easy-to-make soup! I find it's very popular when I serve it, and makes a great meal with hot crusty Italian bread or garlic bread.—Mary Sheetz, Carmel, Indiana
Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois
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