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
Meet the Cook: Especially to guests who enjoy the variety of Chinese cooking, this is a treat. I like serving it with fried noodles or rice as a side dish. I am a widow with two daughters, both grown, and a grandson. Music is a favorite pastime. I've been the founder and director of a seniors band called "The Happy Has Beens", and I perform for clubs, church groups and seniors as the "Hat Lady", singing about my travels through our state.
-Louise Johnson, Harriman, Tennessee
A steaming bowl of soup is just the thing to take the chill off a cold winter evening spent caroling. Asking each guest to bring an ingredient adds to the fun and means less fuss for you. —Mary Anne McWhirter, Pearland, Texas Potluck soup recipes»
Low-sodium ingredients don't diminish the full flavor of this brothy soup sent in by Bonnie LeBarron, Forestville, New York. The ground turkey gives the soup a heartiness everyone will welcome on a cold blustery evening.
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
"With all of its ingredients," grins Lynn Conlon of Provo, Utah, "this probably should be called 'Surprise Soup' instead! Hearty, unique and fun to serve, it works especially well for large groups. I've prepared if for as many as 38 people by making a few adjustments to the recipe. Even children like it."—Lynn Conlon, Provo, Utah
With a medley of barley, beef and vegetables, this thick, stew-like soup is brimming with flavor and texture. Every spoonful will warm you from head to toe on cold winter evenings.—Rachel Kohnen, Pomeroy, Iowa