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: Even though I'm single, I make multiple servings of everything - as reflected in the name of my soup! Actually, that tendency's helped me get to know my neighbors. The local ladies have "adopted" me. They always volunteer to be my guinea pigs whenever I try out a new recipe or two. —Cheryl Trowbridge, Windsor, Ontario
This recipe puts a different spin on traditional chicken noodle soup. I like to use cheese tortellini instead of plain noodles for a pleasant and filling change of pace. This easy creation has become a family favorite that I can count on often. —Jean Atherly, Red Lodge, Montana
After tasting a similar soup in a restaurant, I went home and cooked up my own version. It's so soothing on a winter evening served with crusty French bread. For a change of pace, try substituting ham or turkey for the chicken. —Kathleen Rappleye, Mesa, Arizona
Life on a farm can get hectic—along with my husband's four brothers, we custom-feed 5,000 head of cattle and grow 5,000 acres of crops. So I often freeze this soup and thaw it for a fast easy meal. Since It's hearty, all I need to add are rolls or bread and a salad.
We're expecting an addition to the family spring, who'll join our 19-year-old, 4-year-old and 2-year-old.
No question—this is my favorite soup! It's so filling that I serve it as a hearty main dish, and I have given the recipe to many of our friends and relatives. (Especially with the barley, it simply tastes too good to keep to yourself!) —Diana Costello, Marion, Kansas
Meet the Cook: When my husband and I eat out and enjoy a dish, I go home and try to duplicate it. That's how I came up with this recipe. While it's good at any time, we like it full and hearty over the winter. Our three children are grown. Now, we keep busy watching their children - our six grandchildren - grow.
-Donna Mae Young, Menomonie, Wisconsin
Meet the Cook: Generally, my husband isn't a soup fan - but his spoon's poised and ready for this version. I adapted this rich and creamy concoction from a recipe I tasted at a local restaurant...and it's since become a popular item on my "menu".
-Carol Reaves, San Antonio, Texas
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