½cupdried garbanzo beansor one 15-ounce can, drained
½cupdried kidney beansor one 15-ounce can, drained
½cupfrozen cut green beans
1Parmesan cheese rind
⅔cupfresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaveschopped
¼cupfresh basil leaveschopped
⅛teaspoonground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.
Add all of your dried seasonings, including salt, pepper, marjoram, oregano and stir until fragrant.
Stir in the canned stewed tomatoes and use your hands or a wooden spoon to break them up a bit.
Add the dried beans, pearl barley and diced potatoes. Then pour in 4 quarts of vegetable broth and 4 quarts of water. (If your dried beans are old, you may want to pre-cook them first. You can also use canned beans.) Add a bay leaf and then raise the heat to high and bring pot to a full boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more water as necessary if the mixture gets too thick, about 1½ hours. If using canned beans, simmer for only 10 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and continue simmering, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
Then add your frozen green beans and simmer for 5 more minutes. Finish the soup by adding the rest of your "greens": sliced zucchini, kale, flat-leaf parsley and basil. Simmer a couple of minutes more.
Serve a bowl of soup with a topping of freshly grated parmesan cheese.