Readers share favorite soup recipes.

Nothing hits the spot on a cold day like a bowl of soup.

Deb Butterfield of Peoria, Ill. likes to make tomato and basil bisque and shares her recipe here. Below that is a simple chili recipe from Sharon Gentry of Metamora, Ill.

Creamy Tomato & Basil Bisque
Makes 6 to 8 servings

3 T butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 T flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1 t sugar
2 bay leaves
2 t basil
1/2 pint cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook 4 minutes. Stir in flour and reduce heat. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves and basil. Bring to a boil. Lower heat again to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

In blender, carefully puree soup. Return to saucepan and stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Sharon’s Chili
Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, cut up
1 (14- to 16-ounce) can hot chili beans
2 (14- to 16-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 quarts canned whole tomatoes
Chili powder
Salt and pepper

On the stovetop, brown meat and onion. Add beans and tomatoes. Season to taste with chili powder, salt and pepper.

Note: For those avoiding salt, add additional spices at serving time.

The Trading Post is a recipe-exchange column that runs every other week and is compiled by Kathryn Rem. Send recipes and recipe requests to the Trading Post, The State Journal-Register, P.O. Box 219, Springfield, IL 62705; fax to (217) 788-1551; or email Please include your name, city and daytime phone number.