I make this soup often in the cold weather ( and it's another good way to clear the vegetable bin). This one is almost meatless...by eliminating the ham,using vegetable stock, and increasing the fennel seed to 2 tsp. it can be. I think fennel seed gives soups and pasta sauces a sausage like flavor, so I've been using it a lot lately.
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 minced garlic cloves
2 oz. diced cooked ham
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 14-15 oz. can crushed, diced or stewed tomatoes
2 small zucchini, diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 cup green beans, cut small
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can chick peas, drained
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup dry macaroni (or other small pasta)
s &p to taste
parmesan cheese (optional)
Saute the onion, celery, garlic, carrot, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion softens, about 5 -8 minutes. Add the potato, zucchini, green beans, and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage and broth and bring to a boil again. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the chick peas and kidney beans, bring to a boil again, the add the macaroni and simmer about 10 more minutes until the pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
This soup is really thick....you may want to thin it out with extra broth when serving leftovers.