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
Early in winter, I make up big pots of this hearty soup to freeze in plastic containers. Then I can bring out one or two containers at a time. I heat the frozen soup in a saucepan on low all morning. By lunchtime, it's hot and ready to serve! —Ann Main, Moorefield, Ontario
My family really enjoys this soup when we make it from our garden tomatoes. When those tomatoes are plentiful, I make a big batch (without mayonnaise) and freeze it. Then we can enjoy it even after the garden is gone for the season.
My father was Swiss, so cheese has been a basic food in our family as long as I can remember. With its big cheese taste, you'll want to prepare this soup often. A steaming bowl plus a salad and a slice of bread makes a wonderful light meal. —Carol Smith, New Berlin, Wisconsin
Chock-full of ham, beans and celery, this hearty soup makes a wonderful meal at any time of year. Freeze the bone from a holiday ham until you're ready to make soup. Plus, once prepared, it freezes well for a great make-ahead supper!
White Stone, Virginia
My mother always prepared a holiday turkey much larger than our family could ever eat in one meal so there'd be plenty of leftovers. That's one tradition I've kept up. This hearty soup uses a lot of turkey and is great after watching football games and raking leaves.
-Kathleen Harris, Galesburg, Illinois
My family enjoys homemade soup, but I don't always have the time to make it from scratch. This simple recipe calls for ingredients I can keep on hand, so I can serve steaming bowls of chowder in a hurry.—Kathryn Awe, International Falls, Minnesota