Here's my go-to recipe for family and friends' get-togethers. One time, my niece devoured three bowls of it and we had to stop her from a fourth so others could have one last spoonful! —Sharon Verea, Thomasville, Georgia
Years ago, when my husband and I put in our first garden, a neighbor suggested zucchini since it's easy to grow. Our kids were reluctant to try new things, so I used our squash in this cheesy chowder—it met with solid approval from all of us! —Nanette Jordan, Flint, Michigan
A delicious dinner is even more memorable when I start with this creamy soup. It has a bit zip and super squash flavor. I like serving things that disappear like this soup does. I always get empty bowls back.
— Marion Tipton, Phoenix, Arizona
I'm grateful that my mother taught me to make these wonderful old-fashioned noodles, which were a big favorite of mine when I was growing up. They give the chicken soup a delightful down-home flavor.
—Cindy Renfrow, Sussex, New Jersey
Meet the Cook: My husband and I lived for 11 years in the Arctic, where there was very little fresh produce and I had to order non-perishable groceries for a year ahead of time. This hearty soup - a meal in itself served with warm rolls - became a staple in our diet because it requires ingredients I could easily find.
-Lil Morris, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
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
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
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
Meet the Cook: A favorite at soup night at our church, this recipe's one my husband concocted after he retired. (We have four children plus two grandchildren and another on the way.) I frequently find it on the table when I get home from work.
-Rosalie Biar, Thorndale, Texas
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
Simmering up a big pot of this soup is one of my favorite holiday traditions. This is a variation on a recipe my mom made while I was growing up. My husband and children can't get enough of the tender dumplings.
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.