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
Kell Ferell of Alamo, North Dakota drives 80 miles round-trip every day for her job, so she needs quick, healthy dishes to fix for her family.
"This is a huge favorite," she pens. "If I don't have leftover chicken, I simply boil or poach some chicken breasts. I use the cooking liquid to replace part of the water in the recipe to add even more flavor."
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
Chock-full of veggies, this soup soothes both the body and the spirit. The kale is packed with nutrients, including omega-3s, and the beans add a natural creaminess. —Beth Sollars, Delray Beach, Florida
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. —Debbie Wolf, Mission Viejo, California
Our church women’s group assembles this soup mix to give to visitors and to sell at our annual bazaar. Each container is labeled with the directions to make it and additional ingredients needed.—Pearl Brock, Coudersport, PA
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