Heat large pot over medium heat and add diced bacon. Brown lightly. Add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomatoes, water, and chicken stock to pot and raise heat to high..bring to rapid boil and add pasta.
Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente. Remove bay leaf and stems and continue cooking until pasta is done. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh grated cheese.