I find once i discover a soup i like, i want to try different variations of it and then decide which one i like the best, or pull elements from the ones i've tried and make a whole new rendition. It's fun and a great way to find what you like or don't like, and then end up with something really yummy in the end that has characteristics of each recipe you've experimented with. It's always a such a great feeling to have an experiment turn out well after all the flops..
10 large ripe plum tomatoes (or two 14oz. cans of tomatoes)
3 medium carrots
2 medium leeks
5 ribs of celery
2 red onions
1 cabbage (or equivalent mixture)
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaping T. of fresh chopped rosemary
3 c. veggie or chicken stock
3 good handfuls of fresh basil, torn
6 oz. pasta (or cannelloni beans, which work basically the same-and you'll get a bit more protein)
salt and fresh ground pepper
parmesan cheese, grated
Score the tomatoes and place briefly in boiling water. Then skin, seed and roughly dice. (unless you're using canned tomatoes) Peel carrots, quarter lengthwise and chop. Remove the outer layers of the leeks, quarter lengthwise, wash well and chop. Peel the celery to remove the 'stringy bits' (can't ya just hear the accent?!), then cut in half lengthwise and chop. Peel and chop onions. When chopping, try to make them all more or less the same size, about 1/4" dice. Wash and roughly chop the cabbage.
Put olive oil into a warmed, thick bottomed pan and cook the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary over medium heat until just tender. Add tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer 10 minutes more, then adding the basil and pasta or beans-which will absorb the flavors of the soup-simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season. The soup should be thick, full in flavor and the cabbage should not be over cooked. Serve with some grated parm...
Hope you enjoy as much as i did!