3 Tb. olive oil
3 stalks celery, cut into large dice (approximately 1 C.)
3 carrots, cut into large dice (approximately 1 C.)
1 medium onion, cut into large dice (approximately 1 C.)
1, 28-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
8 C. vegetable or chicken broth
1 medium zucchini, cut into large dice
Salt to taste
1 Parmesan cheese rind
1, 6-oz. package baby spinach leaves
1, 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Juice from ½ lemon
½ C. basil pesto, optional
In a stockpot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently so that vegetables do not brown. Add tomatoes, broth, zucchini, salt and Parmesan rind.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. (I don’t like my vegetables too soft, but if you do, simmer for another 10-15 minutes.) Add spinach leaves, beans and lemon. Simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Remove cheese rind and discard.
To serve, ladle into bowls and swirl in a spoonful of pesto.