As soon as the cold weather hit, I started craving soup. After I got over the fact that a super rich and creamy potato soup, broccoli cheddar, or tomato bisque was out of the question for me during my prep, the first soup that came to mind was Panera Bread’s Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto. I love it! I don’t like paying for it, or having to deal with the temptation of having a Turkey Bacon Bravo along with it, but I love it nonetheless. The fact that it’s a vegetable soup that isn’t bland or boring is reason enough for it to top my list of favorite winter dishes.

I like to incorporate some protein in every meal, so I added some shredded chicken to the mix, and if your carb intake isn’t limited, a cup or two of pearled barley or brown rice works great too. I personally like to save my carbs for a slice of Ezekial Bread toasted with some melted cheddar on top though. šŸ™‚ Nothing beats a grilled cheese sandwich with soup!

This recipe makes a ton, and it freezes perfectly so don’t be afraid to take your time making this one. It’s worth it!

Basil Pest Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Serves 20
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1 large Zucchini, chopped
  3. 1 large Yellow Squash, chopped
  4. 1 large Onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup Cauliflower, chopped (I use Frozen)
  6. 1 T Garlic, minced
  7. 4 cups Spinach (or leafy green of your choice Swiss Chard, Kale, etc.)
  8. 15 oz. Wax Beans
  9. 1 T Italian Seasoning
  10. 6 oz Tomato Paste
  11. 28 oz Canned San Marzano Tomatoes, Crushed
  12. 15 oz Canned Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  13. 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  14. 20 oz. Chicken Breast, Cooked, Shredded
  15. Fresh Basil (1 bunch, or about 30 leaves)
  16. Salt & Pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot.
  2. Add chopped onions, cook until tender, about 3 - 4 minutes
  3. Add zucchini, yellow squash, and garlic, cook for anther minute or so
  4. Add leafy greens, cook until slightly wilted
  5. Add garlic, and Tomato Paste, incorporate and cook for another minute or two
  6. Add Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Crushed Tomatoes, and Chicken broth
  7. Bring to boil, then add wax beans, cauliflower, spices, salt and pepper
  8. Let simmer on low for as long as you like, but I recommend at least 30 minutes.
  9. Add chicken and fresh herbs, and more seasoning if needed.
Adapted from Panera Bread
Adapted from Panera Bread
Live Fit. Love Food.
Basil Pesto Chicken Soup

Add some heat with a touch of crushed red pepper flakes!

Serving Size: 8 oz. | 12g Protein | 4g Fat | 9g Carbs | 3g Fiber



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