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
When out-of-state friends dropped by, I invited them to stay for dinner, knowing that I could put together this mild, chili-flavored soup in a jiffy. I served it with cornmeal muffins and a crisp salad for a filling meal everyone loved. My guests even asked for the recipe before leaving!
-Priscilla Gilbert, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
We live on the Gulf Coast, where fresh seafood is plentiful. I adapted several recipes to come up with this rich bisque. It's great as a first course or an entree, and it can be made with just shrimp or crabmeat. —Pat Edwards
Dauphin Island, Alabama
I sampled a cool strawberry soup while visiting Walt Disney World. I enjoyed it so much that the restaurant game me the recipe, but I eventually found this combination, which I like even better. The ginger ale adds a special zing.
I'm always on the lookout for easy soups because my husband and I love them, particularly in the winter months. This cream chowder gets a little kick from cayenne and chopped jalapeno pepper. Extra servings freeze very well.
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
While living in California, I enjoyed a delicious chicken-lemon soup at a local restaurant. When I returned to Texas, I longed for it but never came across a recipe. I experimented with many versions before creating this one.
San Antonio, Texas
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.