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
Meet the Cook: Especially to guests who enjoy the variety of Chinese cooking, this is a treat. I like serving it with fried noodles or rice as a side dish. I am a widow with two daughters, both grown, and a grandson. Music is a favorite pastime. I've been the founder and director of a seniors band called "The Happy Has Beens", and I perform for clubs, church groups and seniors as the "Hat Lady", singing about my travels through our state.
-Louise Johnson, Harriman, Tennessee
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
Here’s a simple soup with plenty of taste and just a little heat. Loaded with Sweet potatoes, black beans and sausage, it tastes even better the next day—if you have any left.—Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
I love making this soup because it makes good use of leftovers from Thanksgiving. It is quick, easy and tasty. No one feels like they're eating leftovers since it's so different from Thanksgiving dinner. —Margee Berry, White Salmon, Washington
Peppercorns and a handful of herbs add the perfect seasoning to this low-sodium stock developed by our Test Kitchen home economists. To give it even more flavor, they first browned the chicken and sauteed the veggies.
"With all of its ingredients," grins Lynn Conlon of Provo, Utah, "this probably should be called 'Surprise Soup' instead! Hearty, unique and fun to serve, it works especially well for large groups. I've prepared if for as many as 38 people by making a few adjustments to the recipe. Even children like it."—Lynn Conlon, Provo, Utah
Meet the Cook: "Delicious" and "filling" are the words friends I've served this soup to use to describe it. Alone, it makes for a tasty lunch...or you can have it with a sandwich or crackers. Like an even heartier soup? Simply cube some of your leftover cooked chicken or roast and add.
I've long enjoyed trying new recipes on my husband. He's a former agriculture minister of Saskatchewan...and my taste tester of 52 years! We have four grown sons and 11 grandchildren.
Since peaches and tomatoes are in season together, I like to blend them into a cool, delicious soup. Leftovers keep well in the fridge—but they rarely last long enough to get there.—Julie Hession, Las Vegas, Nevada