Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn golden. Add the chopped garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leek, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.
Add the cans of tomatoes, the chopped potato, cauliflower, drained chickpeas, and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked through (check by sticking one with a small knife).
Add 2 cups of water to the pan and return to boil. Once boiling, add kale and pasta and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender. If soup is too thick, thin it out with a little more broth or water.
If using the basil, tear the larger leaves into the soup and reserve the baby leaves for garnish. Season with a little pinch of salt and black pepper. Taste to check the flavors. Remove bay leaf and discard. Divide soup between serving bowls and sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves. Serve the Parmesan in a small bowl alongside to sprinkle over servings. Makes 8 servings.