3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of onion, chopped or 1 large leek, cleaned, sliced on length and finely diced (use white and light green part only)
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 cup of green beans cut into 1-inch lengths
2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and cut into ˝-inch cubes
˝ pound of fresh asparagus scraped and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 - 3 small potatoes peeled and diced into ˝ -inch cubes
1 cup of small peas
6 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 small head of escarole blanched for 2 to 3 minutes and drained (reserve 2 cups of liquid) OR 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 cup of cannellini beans or ceci beans (canned) or red kidney beans
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
3 basil leaves, torn
1 sprig of rosemary
1 small piece of Parmesan rind (optional)
2 plum tomatoes peeled, seeded an chopped or 3 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 ˝ cups of small pasta such as tubettini undercooked and drained, or ˝ cup of Arborio rice (raw)
1 tablespoon pesto per serving (optional)
1. In a heavy Dutch oven heat the oil, chopped onion or leek and garlic and sauté until soft but not brown.
2. Add the carrots, green beans, zucchini, potatoes and asparagus and sauté 10 minutes.
3. Add the broth and vegetable cooking water, escarole or cabbage, cannellini, ceci beans, or kidney beans, tomatoes, peas, seasonings and herbs, and Parmesan rind, (if desired) and
simmer for 1 hour until the vegetables are tender.
4. Add the cooked pasta or raw rice and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and each serving with a dollop of pesto.