I have made this many different ways and the other night experimented with this recipe by adding fire-roasted diced tomatoes and it was ever so delicious. Feel free to use regular diced tomatoes but the fire roasted ones gave it an extra layer of flavor that was truly delicious. I made this on the stove top and even though it’s ready in an hour I let it sit for a while on a very low flame ( more like 2 hours or more) the flavors meld best this way. This can be frozen but I freeze without the pasta , I like to add my pasta separately to the soup. It’s vegan if you don’t top with parmesan cheese and this recipe should yield at least 6 bowls of soup if not a little more. It’s a delicious vegetarian hearty warm soup that happens to be very healthy and delicious. One of my favorites.
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion , chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium ribs celery, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables, Potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans or peas will all work here
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with their liquid, or 2 small cans –I used fire roasted diced tomatoes and they were ever so delicious
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon or more to taste of kosher salt
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup small pasta — like ditalini or elbows or small shells
1 can ( 15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or any beans 1 1/2 cups
2 cups chopped kale or baby spinach —
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, for garnishing
Warm 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, minced garlic, and a little bit of kosher salt. Cook , stirring often until the vegetables soften and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Don’t burn.
Add the seasonal vegetables you’re using and oregano and thyme, cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add some salt now , bay leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like. And add black pepper.
Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then partially cover the pot leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer — I honestly let it simmer for up to 2 hours.
I cook my pasta in a separate small pan and set aside.
I add the beans and you can add the greens now if you like and continue simmering uncovered now, probably another 20 minutes or so till greens are tender. If you want a more classic soup omit the kale /spinach but I love it so I add it to mine —
Remove the bay leaves from the pot, taste for salt and pepper. Put some pasta into bottom of each bowl ( doesn’t matter if it’s cold because soup will heat it right up) Garnish bowls with cheese if you like or put on table for everyone to add their own.
Perfection in a bowl and may be frozen for up to 3 months — it’s better to freeze without the pasta and you’ll probably add some vegetable broth or water to it when it defrosts.