Tomato Florentine Soup

1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
7 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
celery leaves to taste
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups strong vegetable stock
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup small pasta shells, cooked (optional)


Saute onion and tomatoes in oil for 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic, celery leaves, carrots, basil, bay leaf and thyme and continue sauteing for 2 minutes.
Add stock and bring to boil.
Cover and simmer 50-60 minutes.
Remove bay leaf. Add spinach, pasta shells if using, salt and pepper and continue cooking another 10 minutes.
Stir well and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

Top with parmesan cheese.