This is a light spring version of the traditional Italian vegetable and bean soup. You can make it with any small pasta shape. Farfalline (small butterflies) are pretty here.
1poundleeks, green tops trimmed, washed, and diced (¼inch)
1cup diced (¼inch) carrot
6 to 8cupsChicken Broth or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
½cup farfalline or other small pasta shape
1can (19ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1cup sliced (¼inch) green beans
1cup diced (¼inch) zucchini
1cup diced (¼inch) yellow squash
1cup fresh or frozen small green peas
1cup diagonally sliced trimmed fresh asparagus
1tablespoon (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
1tablespoon (packed) cut-up fresh dill or basil sprigs
1scallion, coarsely chopped
1strip lemon zest
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
Combine the leeks, carrot, olive oil, and water in a large wide saucepan, preferably nonstick. Cook over low heat 30 seconds. Cover and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 15 minutes. Do not brown.
Add 6 cups of the broth to the leek mixture and bring to a boil. Add the farfalline and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, peas, and asparagus. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
Finely chop the parsley, dill, scallion, lemon zest, and garlic all together into a fine mixture. Stir into the simmering soup.
Add additional broth to thin soup, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with a light sprinkling of grated parmesan, if desired.