Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step further-add crab. 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
Grandma's philosophy was, "Add a little color to your food, and folks will eat up a storm!" This delightful golden chowder was one of her favorite recipes, and the broccoli, carrots and zucchini in it add flavor as well as color. Grandma served mugs of steaming chowder to warm us as we sat cross-legged before the crackling fireplace in her kitchen.
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
We have a small asparagus patch, and my husband and I wait eagerly for this tasty vegetable to appear every spring. We're pleased to use our precious harvest in this soup. Lemon and nutmeg give it a surprising spark.
—Darlene Swille, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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
This family favorite is done in no time at all. I like to serve it with a crusty bread or garlic bread, and I'll sometimes use bacon or salami instead of pepperoni (just like a pizza!).—Janet Beldman, London, Ontario