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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
In addition to eating this chili the traditional way (with a spoon!), my family likes to scoop bites onto tortilla chips. The leftovers are great rolled in tortillas and reheated, too. It's so comforting to have a pot simmering when cold Kansas winds are blowing.
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
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
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