Meet the Cook: One of the nice things about this thick soup is you can make it in an afternoon without too much fuss. I've found that it's good for soccer-practice evenings - with our sons 18, 17 and 9, we have gotten accustomed to many of those!
-Mary Dice, Chemainus, British Columbia
I enjoyed a cool berry soup at a restaurant several years ago. The manager gave me some of the ingredients and none of the amounts, so I tinkered with what I had to get this refreshing rendition.
—Phyllis Hammes of Rochester, Minnesota
We have so few bad-weather days in New Mexico that we like to celebrate cold rainy one with bowls of hot soup. My family likes this ham and bean variety alongside green chili corn muffins.
—Beverly Peacock of Santa Teresa, New Mexico
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
A buttery mushroom flavor blends with potatoes, leeks and carrots to make this soup hearty and warming. A big steaming bowl hits the spot on a cold fall day. Waxy red potatoes and all-purpose Yukon Golds hold together well in boiling water.
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
It makes me feel great to prepare a delicious soup like this one and set it on the table in my favorite soup tureen. Even my three children love it. The next day, we scramble for the leftovers...if there are any.
-Jona Fell, Appleton, Wisconsin
My grandmother had talked about her cherry soup recipe for years, so when I received some of our state's famous Door County cherries, I just had to try it. My family liked it so well that I froze several quarts so we could enjoy it all winter! —Sue Bronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Meet the Cook: The basis for this recipe was handed down to me by my aunt, who said she got it from a "grizzled Montana mountain man". I added some zesty ingredients to come up with the final version.
Hot food is something that my husband's family isn't accustomed to. So I adjust the spices for them. In fact, with a few simple alterations to the "heat" index, I can serve this chili to anyone.
Chad and I and our 2-year-old son live 12 miles from town in the country.
-Lisa Humphreys, Wasilla, Alaska