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
Flavorful and filling, Michaela Rosenthal's hearty soup is laced with a hint of lime and has a zesty Southwest flair. “It's really a meal in itself,” says the Woodland Hills, California cook. Fresh fruit salsa makes an unusual but perfect topping!
Loaded with ground beef, squash, tomatoes and two kinds of potatoes, this hearty soup makes a great family meal on a busy night. Go ahead and substitute any of the vegetables with those that better suit your tastes.
Chicken noodle soup brings back memories of childhood. This revamped version takes the chill off with a healthy twist. It's a favorite at my house, especially after working outside on a cool day. —Cynthia LaFourcade, Salmon, Idaho
We have a small asparagus patch, and my husband and I wait eagerly for this tasty vegetable to appear every spring. We're pleased to use our precious harvest in this soup. Lemon and nutmeg give it a surprising spark.
—Darlene Swille, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Since our two daughters did not like beans in their chili, I adapted a recipe to suit our whole family's tastes. We all agree that mushrooms are an appealing alternative and go very well with the ground beef and sausage.
While I don't have scientific proof of it, Red Pepper Soup works for me as a head cold remedy! It is a good gift to take when visiting a sick friend, too. For a pretty touch, top the soup with grated cheese and parsley. We enjoy it with jalapeno cheese buns. You can also serve it with warm garlic bread.
-Barb Nelson, Victoria, British Columbia
This soup tastes especially good in cold weather—which we have a lot of here on the shore of Lake Michigan! I love cooking (I like to try a new recipe every week, and my family loves soup, so I'm always looking for one more.
This chowder is a wonderful warmer-upper on a rainy afternoon. For a quick and delicious variation, spoon chowder into a split baked potato! I like all types of cooking, especially baking pies. I'm a volunteer at our local hospital. When at home, I enjoy reading, biking and hiking.
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