While living in California, I enjoyed a delicious chicken-lemon soup at a local restaurant. When I returned to Texas, I experimented with many versions before landing on this one. —Brenda Tollett, San Antonio, Texas
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
Meet the Cook: "Delicious" and "filling" are the words friends I've served this soup to use to describe it. Alone, it makes for a tasty lunch...or you can have it with a sandwich or crackers. Like an even heartier soup? Simply cube some of your leftover cooked chicken or roast and add.
I've long enjoyed trying new recipes on my husband. He's a former agriculture minister of Saskatchewan...and my taste tester of 52 years! We have four grown sons and 11 grandchildren.
-Frances McFarlane, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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.