My heart is happy when bundles of tender local asparagus start to appear at my grocery store in spring. No one would ever guess this restaurant-quality vegetarian soup can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
My father was Swiss, so cheese has been a basic food in our family as long as I can remember. With its big cheese taste, you'll want to prepare this soup often. A steaming bowl plus a salad and a slice of bread makes a wonderful light meal. —Carol Smith, New Berlin, Wisconsin
Many games involve letters, so I thought alphabet soup would be ideal to serve at my theme party, which included an evening of playing board games and cards. I concocted the hearty soup using ingredients I had on hand.
Corn really stars in this delectable recipe—it hits the spot whenever you crave a rich, hearty soup. I make it each year for a luncheon at our church's flea market, where it's always a big seller.—Carol Sundquist, Rochester, New York
Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois
To us, asparagus is the taste of spring, so we enjoy it in as many meals as we can. When this thick and creamy chowder is on the table, we know spring has arrived. —Elisabeth Harders, West Allis, Wisconsin
My whole family loves this hearty soup, especially on cool autumn evenings. It's rich and creamy with a mild onion-cheese flavor. When I need an easy dinner, I stir up this soup and serve it with warm crusty bread and a crisp salad.
-Janice Hemond, Lincoln, Rhode Island
This is a wonderful fall or winter meal, served with thick slices of warm homemade bread. The recipe evolved over the years as I added to it. I often double it and freeze what we don't eat. That way, I can throw some in a pot for a quick meal or if unexpected guests drop by. —Emily Chaney, Penobscot, Maine