This recipe for Chicken Pesto Soup is perfect for those chilly nights. Brimming with vegetables, this hardy soup is super healthy and so easy to make.
Chicken and pesto go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re meant for each other. I remember the first Warm Chicken and Pesto Sandwich I had when I was in Scottsdale. All melty with cheese. Total comfort food. And I was absolutely hooked from that point on. I loved the combination.
So I thought if it’s that great as a sandwich, how about a soup? A warm cozy hug of a soup. Something with tons of healthy vegetables.
And pasta, of course.
In this Chicken Pesto Soup you can really use any kind of bite sized pasta but my favorite for this soup is Mini Farfalle. It’s tiny and easy to eat and ok, it’s cute. It reminds me of little baby bow ties.
But the star of the show in this recipe is the Pesto that brings all the flavors together. You can use store bought Pesto, but if you want to aim for a healthier version, and much lower calories, try Rosie Daley’s Pesto.
Rosie Daley was a personal chef for Oprah a few years ago and really concentrated on creating healthy recipes for her. So instead of tons of olive oil that most Pesto recipes have, this pesto recipe uses just some olive oil and replaces the rest it with lemon juice. It just tastes fresher.
And by the way, this pesto freezes beautifully. If you click over to the recipe, you’ll find the best way to freeze it so you’ll always have it conveniently in your freezer. Like when you want to make this soup.
Ingredients for Chicken Pesto Soup
- Chicken thighs: The star of the show
- Sea salt: Himalayan Pink Sea Salt is the best
- Pepper: A bit of spice
- Garlic powder: Garlic for tang and for health
- Onion powder: Onion for savoriness and for health
- Ghee: I prefer Ghee to butter because it has a high smoke point and a nuttier flavor
- Shallots: These mild onions blend beautifully with these ingredients
- Garlic: For a tang and for absolute health
- Thyme leaves: For it’s slightly minty fresh flavor
- Carrots: For color and for health
- Zucchini: A delicious vegetable that holds up well in soups
- Low sodium chicken broth: Manischewitz is the best
- Bay leaf: For it’s peppery, minty flavor
- Baby peas: Frozen baby peas are not only healthy, but they cook in an instant
- Mini Farfalle pasta: These tiny bow ties are easy to eat and work well in this recipe…besides they’re cute!
- Pesto: Either store bought or for an extra healthy version, Rosie Daley’s Pesto
How to make Chicken Pesto Soup
Whenever I add chicken I always like to sear it a bit first before adding it into a recipe. Mostly because it just gives the dish an extra depth of flavor. So start with a little Ghee in a soup pot over medium high heat and sear the chicken cubes about 3 minutes to brown lightly. And then add the chicken to a plate.
Using those wonderful browned bits left in the pot add shallots, garlic and thyme leaves. It’s really best to use fresh in this recipe, but dry will work too. Just use about half the amount. Cook the vegetables about 2 minutes just until the onions begin to caramelize.
Then add in the carrots and zucchini and let them cook another minute and add the chicken back into the pot.
Just pour the chicken broth over the top and add in 1 bay leaf. Cover it and let it simmer on low about 30 minutes until the vegetables are crisp tender.
Now it’s time to add the pasta. It will still be on low heat, so let it cook another 10 minutes. Just before serving add in frozen baby peas and cook another minute.
Then ladle that delicious soup into bowls and and add a spoonful, about 1 Tbsp, of Pesto to the center of each bowl and swirl it gently.
And then get ready for total comfort food!
Chicken Pesto Soup
- 2 Chicken thighs Boneless and skinless
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 1/4 Tsp Garlic powder
- 1/4 Tsp Onion powder
- 2 Tsp Ghee
- 2 Medium Shallots Sliced thin
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Tsp Fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 Cups Baby carrots
- 1 Medium Zucchini Rough chopped
- 1 Quart Low Sodium Chicken Broth Manischewitz is the best
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/2 Cup Baby peas Frozen
- 3/4 Cup Mini Farfalle pasta
- 4 Tbsp Pesto
- Cut chicken thighs into 1" cubes.
- Mix 1/4" sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder together and lightly sprinkle over chicken .
- Add Ghee to a large soup pot over medium heat. Then add chicken and sear 3 minutes. Remove chicken to plate.
- Add shallots, garlic and thyme leaves to soup pot and cook 1-2 minutes until onions just begin to caramelize and turn brown. Add in carrots and zucchini. Cook 1 more minute and then add chicken back into pot.
- Pour chicken broth over top and add Bay leaf. Cover with lid and turn heat down to low. Allow to simmer 30 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender.
- Then add pasta and allow to cook 10 more minutes until pasta is al dente.
- Just before serving add frozen baby peas and cook 1 minute.
- Ladle into bowl and dd 1 Tbsp of pesto to center and swirl gently.
If you like this recipe, please leave a comment below and be sure and pin this on Pinterest.
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