1. In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine
the olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, and marjoram. Place
over medium heat and saute, stirring frequently, until the celery
and onion are beginning to color, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and their juice; break
up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or a potato masher, then simmer
briskly for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cut the top of the broccoli
into small flowerets, then peel the stems and cut them into 1/2-inch
pieces. You should have about 5 cups.
4. Add the broccoli, the broth or water,
the salt (the amount will depend on the saltiness of the liquid
you use), and pepper. Bring to a boil. Adjust heat and simmer briskly,
partially covered, for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
5. Stir in the shells (or other macaroni)
and continue to simmer until shells are tender, 8 to 10 minutes,
stirring a few times.
6. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.
7. Serve immediately in flat soup bowls
and pass the grated cheese.
Advance preparation: Should be made just before serving.
If need be, however, cook through step 4, then hold up to an hour