Mince the garlic and dice the onion, carrot, zucchini, and potatoes. Briefly soak the potatoes in water.
Spread the olive oil in a pot. Sauté the garlic and onion until they are soft.
Add the carrot, zucchini, and potatoes and continue to sauté.
Pour in the water and turn up the heat. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and skim off the scum. Add the bay leaf. Put the lid on the pot and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes (with the juice; add everything when using canned diced tomatoes, and mash it with your hands when using whole) and the salt. Cover the pot again, and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
Drain the white kidney beans in a colander. Run them quickly under water and add into the pot to cook for another 10 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Story Behind this Recipe
I heard that it's more authentic not to use bacon or other meat-based bullion cubes, so I made this soup without them.
You can simmer it some more so that the veggies will become soft and fall apart. I like to serve it with a dash of parmesan cheese.