Canned soup and beans are the secrets to the recipe's rapid preparation. For even faster meal making brown, drain and freeze the ground beef when time allows. When ready to use, just combine frozen cooked beef with the other ingredients and simmer as directed.—Jean Ward, Montogomery, Texas
Meet the Cook: The basis for this recipe was handed down to me by my aunt, who said she got it from a "grizzled Montana mountain man". I added some zesty ingredients to come up with the final version.
Hot food is something that my husband's family isn't accustomed to. So I adjust the spices for them. In fact, with a few simple alterations to the "heat" index, I can serve this chili to anyone.
Chad and I and our 2-year-old son live 12 miles from town in the country.
-Lisa Humphreys, Wasilla, Alaska
I like to make this smooth, creamy soup when company comes to visit. Its zippy flavor is full of Southwestern flair. My family enjoys dipping slices of homemade bread in this chowder to soak up every bite! —Susan Garoutte, Georgetown, Texas
Gazpacho is common fare here in the Southwest, and its variations are numerous. This one is simple, inexpensive, healthful and delicious. It works well as an appetizer, brunch dish or accompaniment to any meat entree. I prefer to make the tomato base the night before, but I've also made it early in the morning for serving with that night's supper.
This spicy soup is delicious for family meals and also works well for feeding a crowd. For big groups of people, I serve it in individual mugs rather than in bowls, with plenty of tortilla chips and cheese. Everyone always enjoys it!
Served as an appetizer or a light summer lunch, this very refreshing cold soup is definitely representative of Southwest cooking. The recipe is versatile, too-you can add or subtract various ingredients according to your own tastes.