My mom dehydrates the last pick of tomatoes from her garden each fall—perfect for quick soups like this one. If I don't have time to prepare dry beans, canned beans work just as good. —Lori Terry, Chicago
"Once a year, I invite my relatives—about 25 people in all—for soup day to honor my late husband's birthday. I make three soups, including comforting Beef Barley Soup," writes Louise Laplante of Hanmer, Ontario. "It's loaded with chunks of beef and chopped veggies."
I've gotten great response at our church dinners and senior groups whenever I bring this tick easy-to-fix soup. I usually take home an empty pot and often get requests for the recipe. The flavor seems to improve with leftovers...if there are any!
In the cold months, I like to put on a big pot of this comforting soup. It cooks away while I do other things like baking bread, crafting or even cleaning the house. —Glenna Reimer, Gig Harbor, Washington
Vegetables and herbs fresh from my garden make this one of our favorite soups. This recipe makes a lot, so it's perfect for large gatherings or to freeze in smaller containers for fast meals.—Virginia Bauer, Botkins, Ohio
I came across this recipe years ago at a recipe exchange through a church group. The contributor didn't sign her name, so I don't know who to thank. But my husband and son thank me for preparing it by helping themselves to seconds and thirds! - Ellen McCleary, Scotland, Ontario
Cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper give Margaret Bailey's slow-cooked specialty its kick. "I serve bowls of it with crunchy tortilla strips that bake in no time," she writes from her Coffeeville, MIssissippi home. "Leftover soup freezes well for nights I don't feel like cooking."