Roasted Vegetable Minestrone

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First off, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  It was the first white Christmas in this area in a while, and we were so excited for all the snow!  Second, this will probably be my last post of the year, so happy new year!

Of course, I have a great soup recipe to share with you.  I think I've averaged about 1 soupy recipe per week since the beginning of the cold weather.  What can I say?  I love soup. 

This one comes from The Pioneer Woman, whom I've referenced before.  She's a favorite.  I had wanted to find a good minestrone and pasta e fagioli recipe for a while and PW's roasted vegetable minestrone stuck out to me for the fact that she roasts some of the vegetables before throwing them in the soup pot.  Roasting will carmelize sugars and create new depths of flavor that stewing cannot, so I was pretty excited. 

I actually made this a few weeks ago, and it made somewhere around 6 quarts after I added some of this and that, so it feeds an army.  We both enjoyed this soup and ate on its leftovers for days.  It's great if you add some grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil before serving. 
If you want to go vegan, sub the chicken broth for vegetable and leave the cheese out.  If you want a heartier soup, add chicken, ground beef, or even italian sausage.  I'm posting the recipe as I made it.  To see the original, click the link below. 

Roasted Vegetable Minestrone
from The Pioneer Woman, aka Ree Drummond

2 zucchini, diced
2 summer squash, diced
8 oz mushrooms, stems removed and quartered or diced
1/4 c olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste (at least 1 tsp)
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
10 cups chicken broth
3 cans cannellini, kidney, or great northern beans
1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 1/2 cups uncooked smaller pasta, such as ditalini, shells, etc.
1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 Tb. tomato paste
Salt and Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Toss cubed zucchini, squash, and mushrooms in a bowl with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Arrange onto two sheet pans (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. Add in tomato paste and cook 1 minute more.  Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.

Add cannelini beans and green beans. Cook on low for five minutes. Add pasta and cook for an additional five 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 seasoning! Add more broth if necessary to increase liquid amount.

Serve with Parmesan shavings and crusty Italian bread

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