Tomatoes and roasted sweet red pepper pair up to create a fabulous base for this herb cream soup. Serve it as a first course at holiday dinners and you'll be amazed at the compliments you receive.—Doty Emory, Jasper, Georgia
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.
In the mood for soup? There's no need to open a can when it's so easy to simmer up a bowl of this soup. I first has this at a favorite restaurant. When it was removed from the menu, I duplicate it at home using herbs from my garden.—Kay Harris, Armarillo, Texas
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."
I enjoyed a cool berry soup at a restaurant several years ago. The manager gave me some of the ingredients and none of the amounts, so I tinkered with what I had to get this refreshing rendition.
—Phyllis Hammes of Rochester, Minnesota
I spice up my sweet-tart soup with a hint of cinnamon. Serve this refreshing chilled concoction as a light first course...or for dessert, topped with a dollop of nonfat yogurt or reduced-fat whipped topping. —Neva Arthur, New Berlin, Wisconsin
From Sharon Delaney-Chronis in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin: When I first prepared this change-of-pace soup for a party, everyone called it a hit! My husband always likes it warmed up, but I prefer my soup chilled. Any leftovers, we drizzle over frozen custard for a fresh, fruity topping. — Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, 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
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.