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Broccoli and Shell Macaroni Soup

2 tb Extra-virgin, full-flavored olive oil
1 c Finely chopped onion
3 lg Garlic cloves, chopped or sliced
3/4 c Finely chopped celery rib
2 tb Finely chopped parsley leaves
1/2 ts Dried marjoram
1 cn (16-oz) plum tomatoes and juice
5 c Fresh broccoli florets and peeled stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 1 lb
6 c Chicken broth, beef broth or water
Coarse sea salt to taste
1/2 ts Freshly ground pepper or to taste
1 c Small macaroni shells
1/3 c Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


In a 3-to 4-quart heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat, saute olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, parsley and marjoram, stirring frequently until the celery and onion begin to color, about 10 minutes.


Add tomatoes and juice, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.


Add broccoli, broth, salt and pepper to pot, cover and bring to a boil. Adjust heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Stir macaroni shells into mixture and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until shells are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.


Taste soup and correct seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.


Remove stockpot from heat, cover and allow soup to rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a bowl of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Serves 3 to 4.



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