Lots of wonderfully fresh-tasting vegetables are showcased in this chunky soup sent by Victoria Zmarzley-Hahn of Northampton, Pennsylvania. "It's a great way to use up summer's excess produce," she explains. "And it's so versatile—you can add or delete just about any vegetable."
A buttery mushroom flavor blends with potatoes, leeks and carrots to make this soup hearty and warming. A big steaming bowl hits the spot on a cold fall day. Waxy red potatoes and all-purpose Yukon Golds hold together well in boiling water.
"I love this soup so much, I sometimes double the recipe," notes Michelle Smith from Sykesville, Maryland. "In fact, I've nicknamed it the 'House Specialty'! If I have leftover chicken or pork, I sometimes substitute it for the shrimp."
To us, asparagus is the taste of spring, so we enjoy it in as many meals as we can. When this thick and creamy chowder is on the table, we know spring has arrived. —Elisabeth Harders, West Allis, Wisconsin
Meet the Cook: Soup is tops on the list of things I love to cook. I've used this one as the beginning course to a meal...and as a Sunday supper with hot rolls and butter. When we had a small restaurant in Arizona, I made my mushroom soup every day. We never had any left over. It got raves at a deli I worked at, too. I never cooked very much until my husband and I were married, 48 years ago. We're the parents of three grown sons and the grandparents of 12.
-Beverly Rafferty, Winston, Oregon