This is an excellent example of how convenience foods can be combined for a tasty entree. Ready in minutes when I get home from work, this soup becomes part of a balanced meal with a tossed salad, rolls or fruit. For variation, try chicken, turkey or even venison instead of ground beef. –Tracy Thompson, Cranesville, Pennsylvania
This creamy chowder brimming with tender potato and crab tastes so good guests will never guess it starts with canned soup. Half-and-half cream makes it rich enough for special occasions. I often serve it with crackers or French bread after a sporting event or outing.
-Irene Craigue, Claremont, New Hampshire
This chili-like soup is delicious and very low in fat. Salsa, cumin and chili powder gave it plenty of flavor while several canned items make it fast to throw together on busy nights. —Joni Voit
Meet the Cook: There were 11 children in my family when I was growing up, and my husband and I have seven grown children (and now eight grandchildren). Need less to say, I have been cooking ever since I could handle a spoon. People love this soup's flavor and creamy cheese consistency. I've given the recipe to friends, who've varied it a little. One substituted summer squash and zucchini for the rutabaga. She said it tasted just great that way, too.
-Helen Riesterer, Kiel, Wisconsin
Meet the Cook: Soup is tops on the list of things I love to cook. I've used this one as the beginning course to a meal...and as a Sunday supper with hot rolls and butter. When we had a small restaurant in Arizona, I made my mushroom soup every day. We never had any left over. It got raves at a deli I worked at, too. I never cooked very much until my husband and I were married, 48 years ago. We're the parents of three grown sons and the grandparents of 12.
-Beverly Rafferty, Winston, Oregon
“I first tasted posole while visiting a friend in Santa Fe. It was a
revelation! I have since been experimenting with many versions, and this one has become a much-loved tradition for my family. The leftovers are fantastic!"—Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
Meet the Cook: We also call this 2-Day Bean Chowder, since it can be started in the afternoon, chilled overnight and finished off the next day - if you can wait to taste it!
-Joe Ann Heavrin, Memphis, Tennessee
Some say you can have your cake and eat it, too...I say eat your chili and the bowl, too! I work the "graveyard shift" at the post office in Portland. During those hours, there is no place to buy meals, so I often bring in dishes like this chili to share with co-workers.
This actually is a combination of two soup recipes I came across and adapted. I often serve it for Sunday dinner, making enough so there are leftovers for my husband's lunch thermos. He's a bricklayer and regularly works outside during winter. We're the parents of three children—17, 16 and 11.
“Tender pasta, sauteed vegetables and lots of flavor…this tasty soup comes really close to the tomato rosamarina soup they serve in the best Greek restaurants in Chicago," writes Mary Lu Wasniewski from Orland Park, Illinois. "I like it with a small Greek salad and pita chips. Enjoy!”