"This recipe goes back to the 16th century and if it's been around for so long, it must be good. Actually, it's more than that, it's awesomely good! The soup is made with a variety of fresh spring produce and ground veal. If you can't find the fresh ingredients or don't feel like shucking peas you can use them frozen. If you want to make a vegetarian dish, omit the veal and pancetta and replace the meat broth with a vegetable broth."
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Bring beef broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and keep hot.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the green onion until tender, and stir in the pancetta. Cook and stir until the pancetta is browned, then increase heat to medium-high heat and stir in the ground veal. Cook and stir until the veal is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Stir in the artichoke hearts, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the peas, fava beans, and asparagus. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Pour in the hot beef broth, and allow soup to simmer until the vegetables are tender and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the slices of bread with leaves from 7 sprigs of thyme, garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Place bread on a baking sheet.
Toast in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Stir the leaves of 13 sprigs of thyme into the soup, and season with pepper. Serve hot soup in bowls topped with croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.