In a large soup pot heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the onions, carrot, celery, leeks, and garlic.
Cook for 5 minutes to release the flavours. Add the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, and dried thyme, bring to a boil and turn heat to low.
Simmer for 25 minutes. Add the diced broccoli florettes and diced broccoli stem.
Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a sauce pot boil about 2 litres of water seasoned with salt.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain when ready and add this to the pasta when ready to serve.
Top the soup with the cheesy croutons.
Great for a cold winter's night.
12 cups cold water
All vegetable trimmings
Place all ingredients into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain all the vegetable trimmings and set the stock to cool.
Cheddar Cheese Croutons:
Cube bread to desired size. Toss with olive oil enough to coat. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray in a pre heated oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Toast until golden brown 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top, set aside to cool.