The days are getting cooler, we added an extra blanket to the bed, and we’ve even turned the heat on once or twice. You know what that means. Soup weather is officially here! One of the reasons I look forward to this time of the year is this - I love making soup. I love seeing carrots and onion and celery cooking in the bottom of a large pot. I love making a meal that fills you up while warming you up, especially when it lasts for days. And I love trying new soups and seeing how ordinary ingredients, when cooked and added to the magical ingredient that is chicken broth, can turn into something amazing.

And this roasted vegetable minestrone is nothing short of amazing. It’s chock full of healthy vegetables and flavorful pasta. Roasting the vegetables gives them a depth of flavor that you don’t expect at first glance. I’ve never roasted mushrooms before, and I had no idea what I was missing. As I added them to the soup I couldn’t help eating a few, and then picking a few more out of the soup pot, adding extra to my bowl, etc. because they tasted so good.  I asked Mike later if he noticed how good the mushrooms were, and he said he didn’t actually notice the mushrooms. I wonder if that’s because I ate them all?

Seriously, mushrooms aside, this soup is delicious. Add different/more vegetables if you want, or leave out ones you don’t care for. It’s easy, quick, healthy, and it makes a huge pot of soup. Add some freshly shaved parmesan cheese on top and you’ll sit there wondering how you managed to make it through cool evenings in years past without this soup to warm you up.

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Roasted Vegetable Minestrone

Ingredients:

2 whole Zucchini, Halved, Cut Into Strips, Then Cubed
2 whole Summer Squash, Halved, Cut Into Strips, Then Cubed
8 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Stems Removed And Quartered
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
2 Tablespoons (additional) Olive Oil
2 whole Carrots, Washed And Sliced (not Peeled)
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 stalks Celery, Sliced
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or more if you like a brothier soup)
1 can Cannelini Beans, Rinsed
1-½ cup Small Pasta Shells, Uncooked
1 can (14.5) Diced Tomatoes With Juice
Salt And Pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoons Turmeric (optional)
Parmesan Cheese, Shaved

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Toss cubed zucchini, squash, and mushrooms in a bowl with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Arrange on a sheet pan (or two to avoid crowding) and roast in the hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until brown and black parts begin to show. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, and celery and stir to cook for 3 minutes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.

Add cannelini beans and pasta and simmer for 10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, stir, and cook for an additional five minutes on low heat. Check for seasonings, adding salt, pepper, and turmeric.

Add roasted vegetables at the very end. Stir and allow to simmer and heat for a few minutes before serving. Be sure to check the seasoning. Add more broth if necessary to increase liquid amount.

Serve with Parmesan shavings and crusty bread.

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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