Gail Gladding-Pullara of Oregon, Wisconsin, created this simple, crowd-pleasing soup. "My family loves this recipe," she says. "It’s easy and tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours."
Affordable beef chuck roast, apple, parsnip and sweet potato slow-simmer in broth flavored with dark beer, herbs and spices. Warm corn bread muffins and cold winter night optional.
Cathy Schneider of DeKalb, Illinois, shared her family-favorite recipe for a chicken soup that has just enough twists to keep it interesting: sweet potato, green beans, brown rice and fresh-tasting dill. (If you prefer less dill flavor, just reduce the amount. The soup will still be delicious.)
Chicken Dill Soup 
Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but this hearty supper soup takes just an hour to make. The secret? Deli-roasted chicken and precooked sausage. Pair with breadsticks or a crusty baguette for a perfect winter meal that will fill your house with good smells.
Fresh apple, dried fruit and cashews add color, sweetness and crunch to a ready-in-45 vegetarian chili. For a twist on the traditional toppers (and to hint what’s inside), garnish with apple slivers.
Apple Harvest Chili 
Susan Corley of New Albany, Ohio, shared her version of the classic Italian soup in New Albany Cooking with Friends, a cooking club project that took regional honors in the 2007 Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards. Susan often slow-cooks a pot of the soup for family meals during the holidays.
Puree wintry vegetables like potato, leek and parsnip into a velvety soup. Don't skip the crisp, buttery dippers. They're delicious dunked in the soup.
Nina Swan-Kohler of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, loves easy-to-make dishes that travel well to football games or other events. Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Chowder is one of her favorite recipes. "It uses a variety of convenience foods that are stirred together in one big pot, and brings out the great flavor of all the ingredients," Nina says. More of her recipes are in her cookbook, Tailgates to Touchdowns, Fabulous Football Food.
Butternut squash, chicken broth, coconut milk, brown sugar and seasonings combine for a creamy, rich soup. For added flavor, top with Thai Gremolata, a mix of fresh basil or cilantro, chopped peanuts and finely shredded lemon peel.
Betsy Koss of Boyne City, Michigan, shared her recipe for velvety mushroom soup. It tastes rich and creamy but is actually dairy-free. The trick is to puree a little bit of white rice into the soup.
Mushroom Soup 
Our version of the classic Kansas City steak soup uses lean ground sirloin mixed with veggies and seasoned with a blast of steak sauce and Worcestershire. It cooks in just 25 minutes.
For more soup and stew recipes created by Midwest Living® in honor of the Midwest states, click on "Midwest Soups State by State" in the Related Links box below.
Bacon is versatile and dependable, amping up most dishes. Our cheesy potato soup just seems to call for salty-smoky crumbled bacon. So we stirred some in and sprinkled the rest on top. If you like seasoned bacon, try pepper-rubbed bacon in the soup.
These three soups rank among our 20 all-time favorite recipes from the last two decades of Midwest Living®. This trio features white bean and chicken chili (left), the winner of our 1990 great chili search; beans and ham (middle), perfect with warm corn bread on a cold day; and a Reuben soup (right), which packs the flavors from a Reuben sandwich in a bowl.
To see all the winners, click on the link below to "Our 20 Best Recipes of All Time."
White Surprise Chili 
Cream of Reuben Soup 
Tuck this chili into your slow cooker in the morning so you can come home to a warm winter dinner. Omit the meat if you'd prefer a hearty meatless main dish. If you like, add chopped avocado or shredded cheese as toppers before serving.
We like the creamy richness of this chunky main-dish soup from Antlers Restaurant at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minnesota.
Another comforting chicken soup: Creamy Velvet Chicken Soup, the signature dish in the re-created L.S. Ayres Department Store Tea room (circa 1905) at the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis.
Nancy Rudolph of St. Louis found the ideal balance of curry powder to apple in this creamy soup she makes with Missouri apples. "This is easy and quick to make," she says. "And it's perfect for those first few chilly fall evenings. I like to serve it with a grilled smoked Gouda sandwich for a satisfying meal." Nancy also likes this soup served cold.
Missouri Apple Soup 
What do you feed a finicky eater? Midwest Living® Senior Food Editor Diana McMillen puts friends and family in charge of their meal destiny. Each person gets a bowl of meatballs in broth, and chooses from assorted toppers to finish their soup just the way they like it.
This easy soup combines colorful veggies—corn, chopped green or red sweet pepper and sliced celery—with cream and three types of cheese products for a pretty, flavorful dish.
Veggie Cheese Chowder 
Once a year, Sandy Mafera's women's club gathers for its annual cooking school. The Auburn, Indiana, group comes armed with recipes that fit that year's theme. Italian Sausage Soup was a winner the year their theme was "Elegant and Easy Comfort Food Goes Uptown." The rich and spicy soup is loaded with vegetables and ricelike orzo pasta, plus browned Italian sausage.
Maple syrup adds sweetness to Gingered Pumpkin Soup (left), which makes a creamy side dish or appetizer. Pumpkin Corn Chowder is a thick soup that blends corn, pumpkin and chunks of sweet potato. Chopped smoked ham tops our Season's Eatings Pumpkin Soup.
Gingered Pumpkin Soup 
Pumpkin Corn Chowder 
This pale orange, chowderlike soup gets a sprinkle of goat-cheese croutons in a recipe from Oakleys Bistro in Indianapolis. You'll get a healthy helping of veggies in this meal: eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, leeks, sweet peppers and tomatoes.
Ratatouille Bisque 
Bits of spinach and artichoke color this creamy chicken soup. It warms up guests at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Serve it as a first course or alongside a sandwich for lunch.
Thyme, oregano and lemon-pepper seasoning flavor this oven-baked stew, which includes potatoes, pork, corn and green beans. Like even more corn? We love corn muffins with this dish.
Ground Beef and Salsa Chili, from The Dakota Diner in Webster, South Dakota, can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. Match the pot of chili to your taste by the spiciness of the salsa you choose.
Prep time is just 10 minutes for this slow-cooker soup; combine canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, frozen green beans, water, a can of onion soup and turkey sausage. Add coleslaw mix and refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini 15 minutes before serving.