Lentils are an inexpensive but nutritious power food, and these days, a hot, filling and flavorful family meal at a great price is a real comfort. My husband just loves this soup and it freezes well. —Donna Scarano, East Hanover, New Jersey
Betty Nickels of Tampa, Florida combines crunchy fresh veggies with black beans and a splash of hot pepper sauce to create this spicy chilled soup. "I often server this during the warm summer months, when tomatoes are in season," Betty writes. "It tastes best when you let it mellow overnight in the refrigerator."
This satisfying soup gets its Italian flair from fennel, thyme, basil and orzo pasta. If you don't start with a low-sodium or sodium-free stock, advises our Test Kitchen stay, you might want to decrease the amount of salt called for in the recipe.
Turkey Italian sausage and jalapeno peppers add kick to this chunky soup. "The original recipe called for a lot of butter and three cooking pots. I eliminated the butter and tossed the ingredients together in just one pot," says Guyla Cooper from Enville, Tennessee. "My husband really enjoys this meaty soup, so I make plenty and freeze what's left over in individual servings for his lunches."
This is a new twist on an old favorite—pumpkin soup. I add a little ginger and sage to apples and squash to make this creamy soup. My family loves it when autumn rolls around. —Crystal Ralph-Haughn of Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Even when the garden is snow-covered, its bounty crops up in the steaming bowls Donna Quinn passes around her Salem, Wisconsin table. "This filling soup is a favorite with our family and is often requested for company dinners," she reports. A hint of fennel accents the flavor or this quick-to-fix bean soup...and spinach and tomatoes add color.
Savory and satisfying, this thick chili-like soup has a mild taco flavor and eye-appealing color. "It comes together quickly and always brings compliments," says Marylou von Scheele from University Place, Washington. "A meal in itself, the recipe can easily be doubled to make more servings."
"I love this soup so much, I sometimes double the recipe," notes Michelle Smith from Sykesville, Maryland. "In fact, I've nicknamed it the 'House Specialty'! If I have leftover chicken or pork, I sometimes substitute it for the shrimp."
“I revised a recipe that my family loved so it would be lighter and easier to make,” explains Sue West of Alvord, Texas. “It’s a hearty and healthy meal served with a green salad and fresh bread.”
More Simple Soup Recipes
"After one taste, you'll find that this soup is absolutely delicious," promises Paula Sullivan from Barker, New York. "Lean ground beef and reduced sodium broth help keep it light. For variety, substitute garbanzo beans for the kidney beans."
"I love this soup because it simply simmers by itself on the stovetop," says Tracy Fay of Redmond, Oregon. "People are surprised to hear that it has only 1 gram of fat per serving because the texture is so creamy."