Natalie Cataldo relies on store-bought pesto to provide mild flavor to this chunky tortellini and vegetable soup. "It's a hit in my house," says the Des Moines, Iowa cook. "If you don't like zucchini, use another vegetable," she suggests.
Chock-full of veggies, this chunky soup is nearly a meal in itself, says Regina Cook of Crowley, Texas. “I got the recipe from my parents, who made it for years. Now my friends ask to come over whenever I make it,” she adds.
Meet the Cook: Anytime you're looking for a way to use up your zucchini and squash, this recipe gives a different taste sensation. My husband really enjoys it -and, except for the zucchini, our two daughters, ages 7 and 3, do as well!
-Debbie Cosford, Bayfield, Ontario
Meet the Cook: Because it is so hearty, no one misses the meat in this chili. Both family - my husband and I have three daughters and one grandchild - and friends ask for it.
-Rene Fry, Hampstead, Maryland
I used to love my Italian grandmother's homemade minestrone. She was very particular about ingredients and where she bought them. Since I cook for only my husband and myself, I have simplified her recipe and cut down on the amounts. If I do say so myself, it's almost as good as Nonna Teresa's.
“My husband is not a soup-for-dinner kind of guy, but he loves this chunky, stick-to-your-ribs soup,” laughs Nancy Tafoya in Fort Collins, Colorado. “I always serve it with a warm loaf of homemade bread.”
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa
“Packed with garden-fresh veggies, this ‘vitamin soup’ goes with just about any grilled meat, fish or fowl,” Leah Lyon of Ada, Oklahoma notes. “Carrots and fire-roasted tomatoes add great color, but the variations are almost endless. Just toss in whatever you have in the garden or fridge!”