2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 small carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch long pieces
2 small zucchini, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes (including juice)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
2 rounded tablespoons basil pesto, or to taste (I used Barilla brand)
Shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese to garnish soup with
In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Saute approximately 5 to 10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add carrots and green beans; cover pot and reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes (if necessary, add a few tablespoons of water to prevent sticking). Uncover pot and add zucchini. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until all vegetables are softened.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover pot. Simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in spinach leaves and pesto. Cook approximately 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Serve soup topped with Parmesan cheese.