When I needed to come up with a soup for a potluck years ago, this was the result. I adapted a cream of broccoli recipe I'd used often, and put in plenty of vegetables left over after a dinner party.
Just this past Lent, I made 3 gallons of my soup for a church function. Several people told me it was the best soup that they'd ever had. The biggest compliment I ever receive, though, came from my 93-year old grandfather. He usually ate as few vegetables as possible—but he asked for a second bowlful!
I'm a military wife...my husband's a chaplain's assistant at Fort Hood. We have two young children, 7 and 5.
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
No question—this is my favorite soup! It's so filling that I serve it as a hearty main dish, and I have given the recipe to many of our friends and relatives. (Especially with the barley, it simply tastes too good to keep to yourself!) —Diana Costello, Marion, Kansas
My husband's a grain farmer who is definitely a "meat and potatoes" man. He likes soup on a chilly day, though. Served with warm bread, this makes for a quick but hearty noontime meal.
Along with our children, 10 and 5, we live 5 miles from town. I wouldn't trade country life for a million bucks!
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 recipe originated with the master chef of our family—my father-in-law. It freezes so well that frequently I'll cook up a double batch of soup.
My husband, our two sons (14 and 12) and I live on 70 acres outside of town. I enjoy crafts. But I'm every bit as happy plowing fields or baling hay!
As the oldest of eight girls growing up on the farm, I began cooking at an early age! This soup—which I first had at my sister's house—brings me compliments no matter where I serve it. —Elienore Myhre, Balaton, Minnesota
You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. But—on cold winter evenings here in New England—I've often poured a steaming mugful and enjoyed sipping it in front of our fireplace as well. —Mrs. Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts
Even those who don't like mushrooms like this soup! I've found it's a great first course when I have friends over.
Our home is a hobby farm with a view of Mississippi River bluffs. We have three daughters—20, 19 and 16.