The inspiration for this recipe comes from my Italian heritage—my mom was a wonderful soup maker. Using frozen gnocchi saves time and adds extra heartiness to this chunky soup. —Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Meet the Cook: Especially to guests who enjoy the variety of Chinese cooking, this is a treat. I like serving it with fried noodles or rice as a side dish. I am a widow with two daughters, both grown, and a grandson. Music is a favorite pastime. I've been the founder and director of a seniors band called "The Happy Has Beens", and I perform for clubs, church groups and seniors as the "Hat Lady", singing about my travels through our state.
-Louise Johnson, Harriman, Tennessee
Horseradish, spices and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar give this gazpacho its Cajun flair. Served chilled, it’s one of the best starters you can have in the heat of the summer.—Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana
Entertaining is a big part of a military wife's life—my husband was a career Army man—so my soup got much use! It's a great cool-down after Mexican food, but I've also served it with butter cookies at a baby shower.
We're now retired here in the Utah Rockies. Both of our sons are grown.
This special recipe from my mother-in-law is one that I enjoy making as part of our fall meals. The soup is so pretty that it dresses up the table. We think it hits the spot on crisp evenings.
-Maryann Klein, Washington Township, New Jersey
Meet the Cook: "Delicious" and "filling" are the words friends I've served this soup to use to describe it. Alone, it makes for a tasty lunch...or you can have it with a sandwich or crackers. Like an even heartier soup? Simply cube some of your leftover cooked chicken or roast and add.
I've long enjoyed trying new recipes on my husband. He's a former agriculture minister of Saskatchewan...and my taste tester of 52 years! We have four grown sons and 11 grandchildren.
I've been making this satisfying soup for years, but my husband still is thrilled whenever I put it on the table. It's loaded with slices of smoked sausage, chunks of chicken, fresh peppers and hearty potatoes. Spice it up or tone it down with your family's favorite picante sauce.
-Helen MacDonald, Lazo, British Columbia
I remember my mom making this soup; now I make it as often as I can. It's a good way to use up leftover vegetables. Sometimes I add a can of rinsed and drained kidney or garbanzo beans. —Angela Goodman, Kaneohe, Hawaii
While creating this crowd-pleasing soup, I was trying to keep in mind a variety of textures, colors and flavors. Its sweet tomato base brims with chicken, broccoli, corn and a couple kinds of beans. It's especially tasty if you garnish it with shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon.
-Connie Johnson, Springfield, Missouri