Roasting creates a rich, caramelized flavor, but you can cook the squash cubes directly in the broth if you're short on time. They should pierce easily with a fork when they're done. —Jen Lehner, Seattle, Washington
In the Pacific Northwest, we dig our own razor clams and I grind them for the chowder! Since these aren't readily available, the canned clams are perfectly acceptable. —Sandy Larson, Port Angeles, Washington
A few years ago, a friend at work shared the recipe for this wonderful soup. With beef, barley and vegetables, it's hearty enough to be a meal. A big steaming bowl with a slice of crusty bread is so satisfying on a cold day.
-Lynn Thomas, London, Ontario
The recipe for this super soup evolved over the years. I've been diabetic since I was 12, so I've learned to use herbs and spices to make dishes like this taste terrific. It also has a colorful blend of vegetables.
-Linda Sand, Winsted, Connecticut
"It's a snap to put together this hearty soup before I leave for work," says Charla Tinney of Tyrone, Oklahoma. "I just add cooked pasta when I get home, and I have a few minutes to relax before supper is ready."
Even those who don't like mushrooms like this soup! I've found it's a great first course when I have friends over.
Our home is a hobby farm with a view of Mississippi River bluffs. We have three daughters—20, 19 and 16.
When you come into the house and pick up the aroma of this chili, it seems to welcome you and warm the entire house. My mother was a very good cook, and a meal of her chili, corn bread, hot cinnamon cocoa and devil's food cake brings back some of my fondest memories of her. —Norma Erne, Albuquerque, New Mexico