The inspiration for this recipe comes from my Italian heritage—my mom was a wonderful soup maker. Using frozen gnocchi saves time and adds extra heartiness to this chunky soup. —Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
I remember my mom making this soup; now I make it as often as I can. It's a good way to use up leftover vegetables. Sometimes I add a can of rinsed and drained kidney or garbanzo beans. —Angela Goodman, Kaneohe, Hawaii
Grandma's philosophy was, "Add a little color to your food, and folks will eat up a storm!" This delightful golden chowder was one of her favorite recipes, and the broccoli, carrots and zucchini in it add flavor as well as color. Grandma served mugs of steaming chowder to warm us as we sat cross-legged before the crackling fireplace in her kitchen.
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.
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.
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