Soups, Salads & Chilis

Citrus, Fennel, and Pepper Salad Topped with Goat Cheese
Submitted by Marilyn Markel, Southern Season, Chapel Hill

1 red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 white grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 fennel bulb, shaved
1 roasted red bell pepper, torn into 1⁄2-inch strips
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
grated rind of 1 lime, no white attached
1 garlic clove, chopped
salt, ground black pepper, granulated sugar to taste
1⁄2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
1 to 2 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, optional

Toss the grapefruit and orange segments, fennel, pepper strips and onion together in a large bowl.

Whisk together the oil, lime juice, lime rind and garlic in a small bowl. Toss the dressing with the fruit mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

Sprinkle the salad with cheese, green onion and herbs. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve cold. Serves 4 to 6.

Butternut Squash Soup
Submitted By Chef Jeffrey Bane, The Chef’s Academy, Morrisville

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and large diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
optional: nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, cilantro

Melt butter in large saucepan and cook the onions on low heat until soft and translucent. Add squash and stock; bring to a simmer.

When squash is tender, use an immersion blender to puree. If you would like some squash in chunks, remove pieces before puree. For smooth soup, pass soup through strainer.

Add cream and seasonings, and simmer 10 minutes. Serves 8.

Eastern Shore Butternut Squash Soup with Blue Crab
By Chef Randall Goldberg, The Matthews House, Cary

5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 ounces butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 large white onion, diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces lump crabmeat
salt for final finish
sour cream to garnish

Sauté onions and apples in the butter until soft. Add squash, chicken stock, water and Old Bay seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.

When squash is soft, remove soup from heat and let cool to room temperature. When cool, place in blender or processor and puree.

Return soup to pot and add heavy cream; heat slowly until hot. Add crabmeat and adjust salt or Old Bay to taste. Bring to low boil and serve. Serves 10.

Beth’s Italian Chicken Noodle Soup
Submitted By Amanda Raxlin, S&A Cherokee, Cary

“This is my mom’s chicken soup recipe for the holidays. It’s amazing and is known to cure ANY cold!”

4 skinless chicken breasts, bone in
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons basil
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
5 peeled carrots
5 stalks celery
2 15-ounce cans chicken broth
4 cups water
2 tablespoons organic, no-salt seasoning
2 tablespoons black pepper

Place chicken breasts in large soup pot and add minced garlic, onion, spices, water and chicken broth. Boil and let simmer for 30 minutes in covered pot. Add chopped carrots and celery. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with egg noodles, rice or quinoa. Serves 10.

Carolina Blonde Veggie Chili

Submitted By Mims Distributing Company, Raleigh

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sweet onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced

1 12-ounce bottle Carolina Blonde Cream Ale

2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with jalapeño

2 14.5-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 14.5-ounce can dark kidney beans, drained

1 14.5-ounce can great northern beans, drained

1/2 cup ketchup

1 2 ½-pound butternut squash, peeled and diced

3/4 cup bulgur wheat

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and green pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves and allow spices to toast for a couple minutes.

Deglaze pan with ¼ cup of the beer and add oregano and chipotles. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rest of the beer. Add the tomatoes, all of the beans and 6 cups water to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add ketchup and stir continuously. 

Once chili is almost at a boil, add the butternut squash and bulgur wheat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve topped with diced red onion, jalapeño and sour cream or cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

White Bean Turkey Chili
Submitted By Kristy Pickurel, Cary “PERFECT for turkey leftovers!”

2 pounds turkey or chicken, cooked and hand-torn into pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounces navy beans, or two 15.8-ounce cans  
10 3/4 ounces chicken broth, or 1 can  
1 1/4 cups water
9 ounces green chilies, or 2 cans, chopped  
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cilantro, to taste, for topping
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, to taste, for topping
Sour cream, to taste, for topping

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add garlic and onion and cook until onion is tender. Add turkey, heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in beans and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 to 45 minutes or until thickened. Or, once the mixture reaches a boil, transfer to a slow cooker.

Remove and discard bay leaf and serve with desired toppings. Serves 6.

Salade Verte with Brie Parcels and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

By Chef Sandra A. Gutierrez, author of The New Southern-Latino Table, and of Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina

“This is my go-to salad whenever I entertain a friend for lunch or on special occasions when my husband and I have time to spend a quiet evening at home. It's elegant enough for company but simple enough to make any day of the week.”

2 ounces brie cheese, cut into 4 rectangles. If you have a brie wheel, cut 8 triangular wedges and stick 2 pieces together to form a rectangle.

2 frozen sheets of phyllo dough

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

2 tablespoons vegetable olive oil

3 cups salad greens

1 cup sliced hearts of palms

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon poppy seeds

pepper to taste

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a clean surface, lay each phyllo sheet flat, short side toward you. While working quickly, brush each phyllo sheet with the vegetable oil and fold each in half, lengthwise.

Place each brie rectangle on each phyllo sheet and roll them up egg-roll style. Brush more oil on entire phyllo parcels and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place the parcels onto the prepared baking sheet; chill until ready to bake (up to 4 hours).

Wash and rinse the salad greens in cold water and spin them dry. Arrange the greens in two salad plates and arrange the hearts of palm over the greens. Cover the salads loosely with plastic wrap and chill them, until ready to serve (at least 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours).

In a small bowl, whisk together the white balsamic, salt and Dijon mustard. Slowly, in a drizzle, add the olive oil and whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Stir in the poppy seeds; adjust salt and add pepper to taste and set it aside.

Half an hour before serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the brie parcels until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Whisk the dressing briefly, to re-emulsify and drizzle it over the salads. Place two brie parcels decoratively over each salad and serve immediately. Serves 2.

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