quarts chicken stock or 2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
cups cooked large white beans (If using cans,with liquid. If using dry beans use 1 cup dry beans, reserve 2 cups cooking liquid) or 2 cups chickpeas (If using cans,with liquid. If using dry beans use 1 cup dry beans, reserve 2 cups cooking liquid)
cup vermicelli or 1/2 cup other thin noodles, broken into small pieces
In a heavy pot (about 8-quart size), combine green beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and stock.
Bring to a boil, then simmer until beans and potatoes are crisp tender.
Add the cooked white beans with their cooking water (or liquid from cans) and vermicelli, and simmer until the vermicelli is just tender.
Combine the basil, cheese, oil and garlic in a blender or processor, and puree.
Stir this paste into the soup, bit by bit.
Adjust seasoning if necessary.
After the sauce has been added, the soup may be warmed, but not boiled.
Serve with hot or toasted slices of French bread.
To freeze: Prepare soup up to the point of adding pesto. Cool. Place in a rigid freezer container. Seal. Place pesto in a freezer bag. Seal. Attach to the top of the freezer container with tape. Label and freeze.
To serve: Thaw in fridge. Reheat soup on stovetop until boiling. Turn down heat and add pesto to taste. Enjoy.
For Vegetarian use vegetable broth and a vegetarian parmesan cheese.