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Fry the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in the olive oil in a large saucepan until tender but not browned. Scoop out and set aside. Fry the pancetta, if using, you won’t need to add any more oil but keep the heat low until it starts to give off fat. Fry until browned but not too crisp. Tip into a sieve and drain off any excess fat. Put the carrot mixture back into the pan with the pancetta and add the bay leaf, plenty of seasoning and the stock. Bring to a simmer, add the pasta and cook for 5 mins.
Top and tail the green and runner beans, slice both into lengths that will easily fit on a spoon and add to the pot with the broad beans. Cook for 3 mins, then add the cabbage. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 2 mins. Spoon the pesto onto the top of the soup just before serving and serve with the bread.