2 cups cooked or canned beans, eg. Cannellini beans
3 Tbsp basil pesto (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Heat the stock or water to simmering. In another saucepan, gently heat Bertolli Extra Virgin olive oil. Stir in the onion and leek, cooking gently for 5-6 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the hot stock or water, along with the bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and simmer for 5 minutes more.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and frozen peas, cover the pan and boil for 5-8 minutes. Uncover the soup, then stir in the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the pesto, simmer for another 5 minutes then remove from heat.
4. Stand for a few minutes, before serving with grated parmesan cheese. If you have left over chicken, simply shred it by hand and add to the soup.