This recipe is from a bean soup gift pack I developed as a fund-raiser for our church. We provide it along with the beans and a packet containing all the spices. The recipient just adds water and a can of tomatoes for a delicious pot of savory soup.
-Doris Cox, South Orange, New Jersey
My wife devised this dish, which is extremely popular with our friends and family. When she asks, "What can I share?" the reply is always, "Bring your beans and sausage...and a few copies of the recipe." — Robert Saulnier, Clarksburg, Massachusetts
Grilling out? You may want to serve this refreshing, make-ahead salad at the barbecue. A creamy Italian dressing enhances the chopped vegetables, cheese and pasta. —Joan Huggins, Waynesboro, Mississippi
Alice Jarrell of Dexter, Missouri waited a long time to get this favorite recipe—but it was well worth it. "I had eaten this soup countless times at a small restaurant in our town," she tells. "When the owner finally retired, he said I deserved the secret recipe and passed it along. Now, my family enjoys it at least once a month!"—Alice Jarrell, Dexter, Missouri
This recipe is popular on both sides of the border. It came from a friend in Alaska, then traveled with me to old Mexico, where I lived for 5 years, and is now a potluck favorite in my Arkansas community. It's easy to keep the beans warm and serve from a slow cooker.
-Barbara Short, Mena, Arkansas
“I've had a lot of compliments and requests for this recipe over the years. My husband loves it, and it's especially great on hot days. The salad dressing keeps the avocado from turning dark, even if you have leftovers-which doesn't happen often!” A fun alternative to pasta or potato salad. —Nancy Cariker, Bakersfield, California
The unexpected combination of flavors and textures in this cool salad sparks taste buds. It can be a main course for a luncheon or a side dish at a dinner or a barbecue. I've gotten many compliments sharing it as a potluck dish.
-Sara Primarolo, Sanquoit, New York