2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3 sprigs thyme leaves
1 qt vegetable stock or water
1 15-oz can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
10 basil leaves
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over low-medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté 2 minutes, until translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and zucchini, and cook, stirring a few times, for 2-3 minutes, until the zucchini just begin to soften. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs, and toss them into the pot. Stir, cook for 30 seconds more, and add the stock, beans and grated cheese. If you have one, add the cheese rind.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Roughly chop or shred the basil, and stir it into the soup. Remove the soup from heat. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve hot, garnished with additional cheese, if you wish.