Enjoy this festive and distinctive soup as a meal in itself or as a first course to an Italian dinner. For a gluten-free version, use one of many available pastas made with rice, quinoa, corn or even lentils—and check your bouillon cube ingredients.
Sauté onion, celery and garlic in olive oil in an 8-quart pot until soft. Stir in tomatoes and crush gently. Add tomato paste, water, and bouillon cubes. Mix and bring to a boil.
Add your choice of vegetables, kidney beans, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 45 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the pasta.
Thin with additional water, if needed. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with croutons or toasted garlic bread, and diary or nondairy Parmesan cheese, if desired.