Once upon a time, my husband and I owned a pizzeria and this dish was always popular on the menu. We've since sold the restaurant, but I still make the soup for all kinds of potlucks and gatherings. It's always a big hit and everyone asks for the recipe. —Estella Peterson, Madras, Oregon
"A bowl of my soup hits the spot on a cold, rainy or snowy day, which we have in abundance where we live," writes Linda Fox of Soldotna, Alaska. Oregano adds fast flavor to the pleasant combination of tender vegetables, pasta spirals and ground beef.
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
This tasty soup has a surprisingly short simmering time. Leftover turkey has never tasted so good! If you don't have frozen mixed vegetables on hand, stir in extra veggies from your Thanksgiving meal until heated through.
This tangy chili from Linda Charlier of East Cleveland, Ohio, is chock-full of beef, beans and rich tomato flavor. Linda suggests serving it over cooked brown rice, a baked potato or with a crusty loaf of warm bread. “If there are any leftovers, it freezes well and also makes yummy omelets or filling for homemade burritos,” she adds.
"For a casual company meal, I serve this creamy soup along with miniature ham sandwiches," writes Karen Balistrieri from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. "Sometimes we leave the bay leaf in the soup as a sign of good luck for the person who gets it in their bowl," she adds.