When the weather turns chilly, wholesome soup hits the spot. This one tastes like autumn, with vitamin-rich squash and the earthy flavor of mushrooms. Adding cream makes it velvety smooth.—Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
Meet the Cook: The basis for this recipe was handed down to me by my aunt, who said she got it from a "grizzled Montana mountain man". I added some zesty ingredients to come up with the final version.
Hot food is something that my husband's family isn't accustomed to. So I adjust the spices for them. In fact, with a few simple alterations to the "heat" index, I can serve this chili to anyone.
Chad and I and our 2-year-old son live 12 miles from town in the country.
-Lisa Humphreys, Wasilla, Alaska
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
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
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
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
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.
My family enjoys homemade soup, but I don't always have the time to make it from scratch. This simple recipe calls for ingredients I can keep on hand, so I can serve steaming bowls of chowder in a hurry.—Kathryn Awe, International Falls, Minnesota