Cheesy tomato vegetable soup


1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can chicken broth
1/2 cup whole wheat elbow pasta (or other small pasta)
1 cup frozen vegetable mix
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
a handful of grated cheese
1/4 c half-and-half or heavy cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the tomato sauce and chicken broth to boil. Add the pasta and simmer for about 3-4 minutes or until pasta begins to soften, but not cooked through. Add the vegetables, spinach, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 5 more minutes until the pasta is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Stir in cheese and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.