Pumpkin and Turkey Chili. Photo and recipes courtesy of Lucretia Delfino.

Pumpkin and Turkey Chili; Photo and recipe courtesy of Lucretia Delfino

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PUMPKIN AND TURKEY CHILI
(Makes one large pot of chili)
Lucretia Delfino, Norwalk, CT

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5) oz. can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5) oz. red kidney beans
1 (14.5) oz. black beans
2 cups pumpkin purée
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 shakes of cayenne pepper
3 shakes of pumpkin pie spice ( I use 4-5)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Sour cream (optional)
Cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet or stock pot. Sauté the onion, green bell pepper, green chiles and garlic, about 10 minutes.
Then make room in center, add turkey and brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, drained beans and pumpkin.

Season with chili powder, cumin, salt.black pepper, cayenne pepper, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min.

Stir in fresh cilantro, if preferred, serve topped w/ cheddar cheese and sour cream or nacho chips as well.

CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP
(Makes about 2 quarts)
Lisa Corrado Nutrition, [email protected], 203-972-3447, www.LisaCorradoNutrition.com

This creamy soup gets its texture from evaporated skim milk, rather than heavy cream. You’ll find cans of evaporated skim milk where you find sweetened condensed milk, but don’t confuse the two! This freezes beautifully, so make extra.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cups evaporated skim milk
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoons each salt & pepper
1 ½ pounds frozen broccoli florets

Directions:
Heat oil in large stock pot.  Sauté onion and bay leaves until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.  Add broccoli and sauté for 1 minute.

Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until broccoli is tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly, and remove bay leaves.

Using a stick blender or a regular blender, carefully purée mixture until smooth. Stir in evaporated milk and season with salt & pepper. Reheat over medium heat until hot through and serve.

BRAISED LAMB SHANK
(Serves 6)
Bryan Malcarney, Blue Lemon Restaurant , 15 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880, 203-226-2647, bluelemonrestaurant.com; Rorys Restaurant, 416 Post Road, Darien, CT  06820, 203-655-9453, rorys.net

Ingredients:
6 lamb shanks (preferably hind shanks, they tend to be larger)
2 medium onions diced
3 carrots diced
1 medium sized celeriac diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cup red wine
1 ½ quarts veal stock
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup flour
salt/pepper
4 tbsp. butter
6 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a pot over a medium to high flame that can comfortably fit all the lamb shanks and go into the oven. Liberally salt and pepper the shanks and then dredge in flour. Pat the shanks to knock off any excess flour.

Add the oil to the pot, and then brown the shanks on all sides.  Remove the lamb shanks and pour off the excess oil.  Put the pot back over the flame and sauté the diced carrots, celeriac, onion, and garlic for 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sauté another minute. Add the red wine and let it reduce by half.  Put the lamb shanks back in the pot and add enough veal stock to barely cover the shanks. Bring the pot to a simmer, check the seasoning of the broth, add salt if necessary, and cover with aluminum foil or top.

Bake in the oven for two and a half to three hours until tender. Remove the shanks from the oven and carefully place on their serving dishes.

Over a low flame, use a ladle or spoon skim all the rendered fat off the top of the sauce. Cut the butter into small pieces and work into the sauce. Ladle the sauce over the shanks, drizzle with the aged balsamic, and serve.

Notes:
You can substitute celery for celeriac.  You can use chicken stock for the veal stock or a mix of the two, although it is best with veal stock.  I believe Stew Leonard’s sells it.

Website-Recipes-Chicken-Chi

Chicken Chili. Elise Sullivan photo

CHICKEN CHILI (ADAPTED FROM THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA)
(Serves 12; cut recipe in half to serve 6)

Lisa Sullivan, Hersam Acorn Staff

Ingredients:
8 cups chopped yellow onions (about 6 onions)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for chicken
8 garlic cloves, minced (about 1/4 cup)
4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
1 can white or black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, for chicken
4 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
8 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (you can also use bone-in split chicken breasts with the skin on – prepare as you would the boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but cook about 10 minutes longer. Remove skin, and then chicken from the bone before cutting into bite size pieces for chili).

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle chicken breasts with a little olive oil; sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and put them on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly; then cut chicken breasts into small bite-size pieces. Set aside (Can be made ahead and refrigerated).

In food processor, crush tomatoes in batches with steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times);  or you can crush them by hand.

In large pot, cook onions in oil over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and beans, and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. Add cooked chicken, and cook an additional 20 minutes. Serve with corn chips, sour cream, corn bread or any other toppings and sides you like.

Lentil and Chickpea Soup. Recipe and photo courtesy of theweiserkitchen.com

Lentil and Chickpea Soup. Recipe and photo courtesy of theweiserkitchen.com

LENTIL AND CHICKPEA SOUP
www.theweiserkitchen.com

This soup is a cross between harira (chickpea and lentil soup), mujadarrah (a lentil and rice side dish), and French lentil soup. Not only is it hearty and satisfying, but it’s also vegan. The recipe can easily be cut in half and freezes well.

Ingredients:
Soup:
20 cups (5 quarts) roasted vegetable stock, low sodium
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups raw chickpeas, soaked overnight
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 large dried bay leaves
1 large stick cinnamon
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 teaspoons ground turmeric or 1-inch piece dried turmeric
½ teaspoon saffron threads, optional
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 large onions (approximately 12 cups), thinly sliced
5 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or minced
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 bunch (about 10) celery stalks, leaves intact, cut into ½-inch dice
1 pound (6 to 8) carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Gremolata:
Zest of 1 lemon, julienned
12 whole mint leaves, gently torn
½ cup cilantro leaves, gently torn
¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt

Rice:
8 cups cooked basmati white rice

Directions:
Make the Soup:
Add the stock and lemon juice to a large stock pot over a medium heat. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add to the pot. Stir and cover.

Cut a large piece of cheesecloth. Place the thyme, bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns in the center. Gather in a pouch, tie with kitchen string, and add to the pot. Reduce heat to low. Add the turmeric and saffron, if using. Cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or pot over a high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and shallots and stir to coat. When the edges begin to brown, lower the heat to low and add the garlic and agave nectar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and shallots are very soft, rich caramel brown and fragrant, about 30 minutes.

Add the lentils, celery, carrots, and salt to the onions and mix well. Add to the stock. Cook  over medium-low heat, covered, until the lentils and chickpeas are soft but not mushy, 30 to 35 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro and parsley and serve.
Make the garnish:

Mix the lemon zest, mint, cilantro, parsley, oil, and salt in a small bowl.

Assembly:
Place ½ cup of rice in a soup bowl. Add the soup. Sprinkle with the garnish. Serve immediately.

ITALIAN SOUP (ADAPTED FROM MIDWEST LIVING)
(Yields 8 servings)

Janis Liu, Norwalk, CT

Ingredients:
12 oz mild Italian sausage links
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 to 16 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups water
1 14.5 oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 T. dried parsley
2 t instant beef bouillon granules or 2 beef bouillon cubes
1 t. chopped garlic
1/2 to 1 t. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
Shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
Toasted garlic bread (optional)

Directions:
Remove sausage from casings and crumble into a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven.  Cook sausage and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender.  Drain off fat.

Add undrained tomatoes, beans, the water, broth, celery, carrots, broccoli, dried parsley, bouillon, garlic, Italian seasoning and peppers to Dutch oven.  Bring to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 25 to 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Serve in bowls topped with cheese.  Serve with garlic bread, if desired.

WHITE BEAN & SWISS CHARD STEW (ADAPTED FROM JOE BASTIANICH)
(Serves 4)
Lisa Corrado Nutrition, [email protected], 203-972-3447, www.LisaCorradoNutrition.com

Ingredients:
2 pounds Swiss chard, large stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise in to 2-inch strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (26 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Add chard to a large pot of boiling water, reduce heat and simmer until leaves are tender, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly, drain and gently squeeze out excess liquid.

In the same saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Cook garlic and crushed red pepper until garlic is golden, 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, increase heat and bring to a boil. Add beans, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the chard and simmer for 4 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and serve.

CREAMY WHITE CHILI (ADAPTED FROM TASTE OF HOME)
(Yields 7 servings)
Janis Liu, Norwalk, CT

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T. canola oil
2 cans (15 1/2 oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies (I use only one)
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (opt)
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:
In a large saucepan, sauté the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink.  Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream.
Yield: 7 servings

BEST EVER CHILI
(Serves 4 – 6)

Lisa Corrado Nutrition, [email protected], 203-972-3447, www.LisaCorradoNutrition.comLisa

This is also known as “Chicken Chicken Chili” in my house, because I add grilled chicken to my husband’s bowl when I serve it. I keep it completely vegetarian for me. Fresh tasting and chock-full of vegetables, this chili comes together in a snap. Adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant.

Ingredients:
Flex·Able option: 1 pound very lean ground meat or grilled chicken
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 cups chopped onion
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, pressed and rinsed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon each salt & pepper
1 cup prepared salsa
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot, then cook the onions about 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Add the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If adding ground meat to the entire recipe, add it to the pot now and cook through; otherwise brown in a separate pot and add to individual bowls when serving.

Add the cumin and coriander and stir for one minute.

Stir in the salsa and peppers, lower the heat and cook, partially covered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the black beans and tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes.  Add salt & pepper to taste, then stir in cilantro.

CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP
(Makes about 2 quarts)
Lisa Corrado Nutrition, [email protected], 203-972-3447, www.LisaCorradoNutrition.com

This creamy soup gets its texture from evaporated skim milk, rather than heavy cream. You’ll find cans of evaporated skim milk where you find sweetened condensed milk, but don’t confuse the two! This freezes beautifully, so make extra.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ cups evaporated skim milk
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoons each salt & pepper
1 ½ pounds frozen broccoli florets

Directions:
Heat oil in large stock pot. Sauté onion and bay leaves until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.  Add broccoli and sauté for 1 minute.

Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until broccoli is tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly, and remove bay leaves.

Using a stick blender or a regular blender, carefully purée mixture until smooth.  Stir in evaporated milk and season with salt & pepper. Reheat over medium heat until hot through and serve.