Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for a minute longer.
Add the chicken stock along with the bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Maintain a low boil/heavy simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Serve warm with grated parmesan cheese (and crusty Italian bread if desired!)
Optional: Noodles or small pasta can absolutely be added to this soup if desired. You can also take the opportunity to add some additional vegetables like green beans, baby spinach leaves or even chopped broccoli.