My go-to Thai restaurant inspired this curry soup. Shiitake mushrooms are my favorite, but any fresh mushroom will work. Fresh basil and lime add a burst of bright flavors. —Tre Balchowsky, Sausalito, California
Cumin and chili powder give spark to this thick, hearty soup from Amy Chop of Eufaula, Alabama. "If you have leftover meat - smoked sausage, browned ground beef or roast - toss it in for the last 30 minutes of cooking," she says.
"My grandpa and his brother (they're twins) love to fish," shares 11-year-old Jasmina Kocurek, Palacios, Texas. "For years, they've made this colorful chowder. It's so good that when I entered it in our 4-H Food Show, I received a top award."
"Lemon juice gives this creamy soup its special taste," relates Elissa Armbruster of Medford Lakes, New Jersey. "Add a green salad and crusty rolls, and you have a crowd-pleasing meal on the table in minutes."
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."
"Sprinkle grated Parmesan on bowls of this flavorful soup that's chock-full of spinach, beans and pasta," recommends Gladys De Boer from her home in Castleford, Idaho. "Breadsticks are an easy accompaniment," she adds.
My husband has always loved split pea soup, but I never cared for it—until I came across this recipe. The combination of flavors is so tasty that even I have to admit to liking it.—Holly Dow, Presque Isle, Maine
"You'll love this quick-and-easy way to jazz up a can of soup," comments Laurie Todd of Columbus, Mississippi. Enjoy the comforting results in a snap by using leftover turkey and convenient ramen noodles.