My neighbor, Lesa Wagner, made some wonderful soup for us recently. The soup was so good I could (and did) eat it cold! If you don’t have two large crock pots, borrow one from a friend and you can return their crock pot with some of the delicious soup. I’m certain they’ll either ask for the recipe or offer their crock pot in exchange for another bowl very soon. Lesa’s Tortellini Soup is great, too, and I’ve included my version of green chile stew. My favorite aunt lived in New Mexico and this soup reminds me of her every time I make it. Enjoy!Lesa’s Pasta Fagioli (Two Crock Pot Version)2 lbs. ground beef1 onion, chopped3 carrots, chopped4 stalks celery, chopped2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, don't drain1 (16 oz.) can white kidney beans, drained1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained3 (10 oz.) cans beef stock3 teaspoons oregano2 teaspoons pepper5 teaspoons parsley1 teaspoon Tabasco20 oz. jar spaghetti sauce8 oz. of small pastaBrown beef in a skillet and drain fat. Divide the beef between two large (6 quart) crock pots and divide and add the remaining ingredients (except the pasta). Cook on low seven to eight hours or on high four to five hours. During last 30 minutes if on high, or one hour on low, add pasta. Notes: You will probably need to add water after adding the pasta. The pasta tends to soak up all the liquid left after cooking, but the addition of extra water doesn’t affect the taste. Lesa and I have tried it with shell macaroni pasta and with very tiny pasta. Whichever you prefer is fine.Out of necessity, I substituted garbanzo beans once instead of the white kidney beans so feel free to use what you have in your pantry. Lastly, I like to use a roasted garlic spaghetti sauce, but this, too, can be altered to your taste. Lesa’s Crock Pot Tortellini Soup1 lb. Hot Jimmy Dean sausage, browned and drained19 oz. frozen cheese tortellini5 oz. bag of fresh spinach2 cans (15 oz.) Italian style diced tomatoes 8 oz. cream cheese32 oz. chicken broth1 clove minced garlicPlace all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low four to six hours.Suzi’s Green Chile Stew1 1/2 lbs. pork roast, diced6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced6 cups chicken stock2 large yellow onions, diced2 tablespoons butter6 cloves of garlic, diced2 cups or 16 oz. of frozen, fresh, or canned green chilies1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes2 15 oz. cans white hominy, rinsed and drained1 tablespoon ground cuminGarlic powder and onion powder, to tasteSalt and pepper, to tasteBrown bacon on medium heat, stirring occasionally, in a large stockpot. Adding the pork roast, brown the meat in the stockpot and then turn off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and meat from the pot, allowing the fat to drip back into the pot. Turn heat back on to medium and melt the butter in the reserved pork and bacon fat. Add the diced onions to the pot and saute until translucent, about 6-8 minutes, adding the garlic to the pot once the onions are almost done. Next, add the green chile to the pot and stir well. (I usually use two cans hot chile and two cans regular chile but modify to your taste). Allow to simmer for about one minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. While the stock comes to a boil, quarter and then dice the potatoes into 1/2-inch slivers. Once the pot is boiling, add the potatoes slowly and return the bacon and pork to the pot. Add the hominy and enough water, if needed, to cover all. Add spices (cumin and additional onion or garlic powder, if needed. Use salt sparingly at first, the flavor changes as it simmers). Add fresh cilantro and simmer about 30 minutes, uncovered. Honey Cornbread1 cup yellow cornmeal1 cup all-purpose flour1 tablespoon baking powder1/2 cup granulated sugar1 teaspoon salt1 cup whole milk2 large eggs1/2 stick butter, melted1/4 cup honeyPreheat oven to 400 degrees. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. -- Suzi Hogan and her husband, Tim, live in Mansfield.