This winter warmer has become a favorite because it uses kitchen staples, it's packed with healthy ingredients and is a cinch to prepare. If I can't find escarole, I just sub fresh spinach.—Gina Samokar, North Haven, CT
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
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
"This soup is super easy to make! Since it starts with a box of au gratin potatoes, you don't have to peel or slice them," shares Sherry Dickerson of Sebastopol, Mississippi. "A co-worker recommended the recipe to me. Now my husband requests it often."
"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 thick 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! —Evelyn Buford, Belton, Missouri