When I saw Giada’s Christmas special on the Food Network I was excited to see all the food she made in that episode. I can’t remember when this episode aired but recently I got it on ITunes and was able to watch the food magic happen again. This inspired me to take a crack at it.
12 years ago I was diagnosed with IBS. Since then the list of foods I eat has changed big time. Onions, garlic, black pepper, spicy foods, are among some of the items off my list.
Sometimes the case is, however, that you just can’t find the exact ingredients in your local supermarket so you have to learn to improvise which is what makes cooking sooo much fun!!
As with every recipe I come across now, I cross things out and start inserting or adding new ingredients. Sometimes the recipe print out resembles a graded term paper!
For this recipe, I swapped the Panchetta for Canadian Bacon, the Swiss chard for collard greens and instead of using a Parmesan cheese rind, I decided to us Italian Fontina Cheese. I also omitted the onion and garlic. Another change I made was using Tarragon and Thyme instead of Rosemary. Tarragon gives the soup a nice anise like flavor and meshes well with the cheese, turkey broth and other ingredients.
Try this new version of Minestrone Soup and let know what you think! I promise you will love it! If you want to compare with Giada’s original recipe you can find it on the Food Network website under Winter Minestrone. Enjoy!!♣
WINTER MINESTRONE SOUP W/Canadian Bacon
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, peeled, chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped
10 slices of canadian bacon coarsley chopped
2 sprigs of Tarragon or 2tablespoons of dried Tarragon
1 pound Collard greens, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 russet potatos, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3-4 sprigs of Thyme
2-3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
4 (14-ounce) cans Turkey broth
2 cups of shredded Italian Fontina Cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (optional)
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and Canadian bacon. Saute until the Canadian bacon starts to brown. About 5 minutes. Add the collard greens and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and tarragon. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend 1 cup** of the beans with 1/2 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Italian Fontina cheese to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Discard tarragon stem.