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, Illinois
Peppercorns and a handful of herbs add the perfect seasoning to this low-sodium stock developed by our Test Kitchen home economists. To give it even more flavor, they first browned the chicken and sauteed the veggies.
My husband doesn't care for traditional tomato soup, but he loves this rich, fresh-tasting version. It has an unexpected chicken-broth base and appealing chunks of tomatoes. It's an excellent first course and a great light lunch with a salad and garlic bread.
You can prepare soup, make dips and even season meats with this handy mix from June Mullins of Livonia, Missouri. "My grandchildren really enjoy it as a coating on oven-roasted potatoes," she says. "It's an inexpensive substitute for the envelopes you get at the store."