A couple nights a week our family ends up eating in shifts because everyone is going every which way, all at the same time. Having a hearty soup simmering in the slow cooker is an easy way to give them all a warm meal.—Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
Meet the Cook: Anytime you're looking for a way to use up your zucchini and squash, this recipe gives a different taste sensation. My husband really enjoys it -and, except for the zucchini, our two daughters, ages 7 and 3, do as well!
-Debbie Cosford, Bayfield, Ontario
This classic recipe of the American frontier is so meaty you can almost eat it with a fork. The zippy combination of ingredients is a perfect complement to the buffalo. —Donna Smith, Fairport, New York
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa
This original recipe of mine was a winner in a barley soup contest. Barley makes it hearty and nutritious - and it's a good way to use broccoli and asparagus from your garden.
I'm a member of Dairy Women of North Dakota and enjoy creating and collecting recipes in which I can use our farm's products. Along with our dairy operation, husband Ronald and I and our two sons grow barley, wheat, corn, alfalfa and soybeans.
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
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
Nothing is more comforting than this chicken soup. I am convinced a single bowl can soothe anything from the common cold to a stressful day. My mother made it often for our family when I was growing up. —Cookie Curci, San Jose, California