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Pesto Vegetable Soup with Tofu or Chicken

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Pesto Vegetable Soup with Tofu or Chicken

Pesto Vegetable Soup with Tofu or Chicken

Jessica Braider
This warming soup is packed with flavor and is super soothing on a chilly evening. Recipe tester Nikki Wolf said, “My oldest (8) made a face when he saw it but then really enjoyed it!”
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 4 stalks celery sliced
  • 15 oz. extra-firm tofu drained and diced, or use 1 lb. chicken breast, diced
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth or use any variety
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. basil pesto or more to taste


  • Heat a large saucepan or stockpot over medium to medium-high heat, and add the oil. When it is hot, add the carrots, celery, and onions.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tofu (if using chicken add it about 6 – 8 minutes before the soup is done), tomatoes, and broth, cover it, and bring it to a boil.
  • Remove the cover and simmer the soup for 15 - 20 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.
  • Stir in the parsley and pesto and let the flavors meld for about 1 minute before removing from the heat.
  • Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, except the parsley and pesto and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or high for 4 - 6 hours, until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the parsley and pesto and let the flavors meld for about 1 minute before turning off the heat. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)

Instant Pot Directions

  • Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE mode and add the oil. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until onions are soft. Add the tofu or chicken and cook for 1 - 2 minutes more. Turn off the SAUTE mode, add the diced tomatoes and broth, and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Use Quick Pressure Release and stir in the parsley and pesto. (Click here for Instant Pot tips and a list of Scramble recipes that have IP conversions.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Slice the carrots and celery, dice the onion, drain and dice the tofu and refrigerate, or dice and refrigerate the chicken, chop the parsley, or fully prepare and refrigerate the soup.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 seeded and diced jalapeño pepper, double the parsley, and season the soup with freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: I used to use large boxes of reduced-sodium broth for soup, but I've found a product I like even better, Better Than Bouillon organic soup bases (I've been using the vegetable base). It dissolves easily and is made from concentrated vegetables and other natural, flavorful ingredients, so it gives my soups a wonderful flavor and is more economical and space efficient.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 173, Total Fat: 8g, 11.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 3.5%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 307mg, 13%; Total Carbohydrate: 20g, 7%; Dietary Fiber: 4g, 16%; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 10g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Soups & Stews, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Winter
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