While living in California, I enjoyed a delicious chicken-lemon soup at a local restaurant. When I returned to Texas, I longed for it but never came across a recipe. I experimented with many versions before creating this one.
San Antonio, Texas
I remember eating this soup every Christmas while growing up. I considered it a real treat. My mother, who was born in Sweden, made this soup during holidays, and now I carry on the family tradition. I look forward to all of our Swedish Christmas traditions-especially eating this soup. —Enice Jacobson, Wildrose, North Dakota
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
It was a cool spring day when I came up with this sweet and creamy variation of traditional baked French onion soup. I top individual bowls with toasty buttered croutons and a sprinkling of Swiss cheese, then pop them under the broiler. The rich results are delightful!
- I. MacKay Starr, North Saanich, British Columbia
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've been making this soup for years. After every holiday where ham is served, the hostess hands me the ham bone and a bag of peas when I leave. I love it with a slice of crusty fresh bread. —Susan Simons, Eatonville, Washington
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
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
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