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: We also call this 2-Day Bean Chowder, since it can be started in the afternoon, chilled overnight and finished off the next day - if you can wait to taste it!
-Joe Ann Heavrin, Memphis, Tennessee
Kell Ferell of Alamo, North Dakota drives 80 miles round-trip every day for her job, so she needs quick, healthy dishes to fix for her family.
"This is a huge favorite," she pens. "If I don't have leftover chicken, I simply boil or poach some chicken breasts. I use the cooking liquid to replace part of the water in the recipe to add even more flavor."
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
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!)
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
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.
Meet the Cook: To me, this is a very comforting, filling, homey soup. I especially like cooking it during winter months and serving it with hot rolls, bread or muffins. Gardening is something my husband and I enjoy doing together. We have a 10-year-old son still at home; his two sisters are grown and out on their own.
-Deborah Taylor, Inkom, Idaho
As the oldest of eight girls growing up on the farm, I began cooking at an early age! This soup—which I first had at my sister's house—brings me compliments no matter where I serve it.
My husband and I have been married for 51 years, and we have four children and eight grandchildren.