This recipe is probably my all time favorite soup. I call it Italian because I was inspired by it from a Pasta e Fagioli recipe. I don't know if its technically Italian but in my kitchen it is :) I kind of tweaked it to the way we like it, and I make it OFTEN. Its unbelievably easy, and not expensive to make at all.
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 2-3 carrots, diced
* 2-3 celery ribs, diced
* 1 small-medium onion, diced
* 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 bay leaf
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 4 cups chicken stock
* 2 cups water
* 1 cup (give or take) any small pasta
* 3/4 a can of green beans (or the whole can if you like)
* 1 lemon juiced and zested
* Parsley sprinkled in at the end, not to much
* Shredded Parmesan cheese to top
* Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute until vegetables are soft, around 8-10 minutes.
Add tomato paste and garlic, cook for around 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, juice and zest the lemon. Set aside.
Add the stock and water, bring to a boil. Add the pasta, and turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the green beans, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Discard the bay leaf. Serve and top with shredded Parmesan cheese!