Hot days call for cool foods, like this refreshing soup. Both filling and flavorful, it uses the best of summer’s bounty. Seasonings can be adjusted to your tastes.—Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
This actually is a combination of two soup recipes I came across and adapted. I often serve it for Sunday dinner, making enough so there are leftovers for my husband's lunch thermos. He's a bricklayer and regularly works outside during winter. We're the parents of three children—17, 16 and 11.
When I needed to come up with a soup for a potluck years ago, this was the result. I adapted a cream of broccoli recipe I'd used often, and put in plenty of vegetables left over after a dinner party.
Just this past Lent, I made 3 gallons of my soup for a church function. Several people told me it was the best soup that they'd ever had. The biggest compliment I ever receive, though, came from my 93-year old grandfather. He usually ate as few vegetables as possible—but he asked for a second bowlful!
I'm a military wife...my husband's a chaplain's assistant at Fort Hood. We have two young children, 7 and 5.
This rich, creamy chowder is so good you won't believe it starts with canned soup and frozen vegetables. It showcases tender chunks of halibut, but salmon or most any type of whitefish will do. I double the recipe for large gatherings, and guests almost lick the pot clean!—Mary Davis, Palmer, Alaska
Meet the Cook: One of the nice things about this thick soup is you can make it in an afternoon without too much fuss. I've found that it's good for soccer-practice evenings - with our sons 18, 17 and 9, we have gotten accustomed to many of those!
-Mary Dice, Chemainus, British Columbia
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
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