4medium carrots, peeled and diced, no longer than ½ inch (1.2 cm)
3celery stalks, diced
1½ cup(200g)fresh or frozen peas
3medium golden potatoes, peeled and diced, no longer than ½ inch (1.2 cm)
3 cupsfresh tomatoes, diced or 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6-8 cups(1½-2 liters)hot vegetable or chicken or beef broth or hot water
1 can(15 ounces)rinsed and drained small white beans (Northern or canellini beans, cooked
1 cup(100g)ditalini or macaroni or orzo*
Salt and freshly ground pepper
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS (for serving)
Freshly grated or shavings of Parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes, crushed
1teaspoon apple cider
freh basil or parsley or celery (leaves or stalk), finely chopped
In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat 4 tablespoons olive oil on medium to high heat. Add the onion for 2 minutes and then the leek and celery until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and then the potatoes, about 2 minutes, the peas, 2 minutes and the carrots, 2 more minutes. Stir frequently and low the heat if the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pot.
Time to pour in the diced tomatoes. If canned, discard the liquid and stir in for 5 minutes. Add 8 cups (2 liters) hot broth or hot water. If tomatoes are fresh, keep the juices, stir in for 5 minutes and add 6-7 cups (about 1½ liter) hot broth or hot water.
Add bay leaves, red pepper flakes (optional), salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover partially the pot with the lid. Cook until potatoes and carrots are slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
Uncover the pot, add the pasta* and the beans. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Continue simmering for 15 minutes until the pasta* and the vegetables are tender enough to your liking. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.
If you have cooked pasta separately, stir it into each plate and add a ladleful of soup on top.
Serve with Parmesan cheese or other toppings of choice.
Note: In case you use pasta, you got two options. You may simmer the pasta along with the vegetables (see above step #4) or you can cook it separately and stir it into the soup upon serving.