My mom dehydrates the last pick of tomatoes from her garden each fall—perfect for quick soups like this one. If I don't have time to prepare dry beans, canned beans work just as good. —Lori Terry, Chicago
This satisfying soup gets its Italian flair from fennel, thyme, basil and orzo pasta. If you don't start with a low-sodium or sodium-free stock, advises our Test Kitchen stay, you might want to decrease the amount of salt called for in the recipe.
A meal in itself, here's a hearty soup from Reuben Tsujimura in Walla Walla, Washington that's chock-full of good-for-you veggies and vitamins. Serve with crunchy breadsticks and no one will even miss the meat!
Turkey Italian sausage and jalapeno peppers add kick to this chunky soup. "The original recipe called for a lot of butter and three cooking pots. I eliminated the butter and tossed the ingredients together in just one pot," says Guyla Cooper from Enville, Tennessee. "My husband really enjoys this meaty soup, so I make plenty and freeze what's left over in individual servings for his lunches."
“Packed with garden-fresh veggies, this ‘vitamin soup’ goes with just about any grilled meat, fish or fowl,” Leah Lyon of Ada, Oklahoma notes. “Carrots and fire-roasted tomatoes add great color, but the variations are almost endless. Just toss in whatever you have in the garden or fridge!”
"These are the best beans and ham you'll ever taste—bar none!" confirms Tom Greaves from Carrollton, Illinois. "Friends rave about this hearty soup that I serve hot off the grill." For easy cleanup, consider covering the outside of your Dutch oven with heavy-duty foil first.
Betty Nickels of Tampa, Florida combines crunchy fresh veggies with black beans and a splash of hot pepper sauce to create this spicy chilled soup. "I often server this during the warm summer months, when tomatoes are in season," Betty writes. "It tastes best when you let it mellow overnight in the refrigerator."