This convenient, creamy Crockpot Chicken And Pesto Soup features fresh veggies, chunks of juicy chicken, chewy barley, pesto, and Parmesan in a dish that leaves you savoring each and every bite.
Are you wondering what you’re going to do with the abundance of leftovers after Easter dinner Sunday? Ham sandwiches or biscuits can only go so far. Dice that ham up and save it! This soup is delicious and is a perfect way to make use of those saved leftovers. I loved that it gave us the chicken cordon bleu taste we were craving, in a cheaper and easier form. I served it with some oatmeal pull-apart rolls, and every one of my guys had two bowls. There were no leftovers!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 onion, about 1 cup diced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups skim milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 5 medium russet potatoes,washed, peeled, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1 cup shredded chicken, cooked
- 1 cup ham, diced
- Place washed, peeled, and cubed potatoes into a large pot and add the chicken broth. Cover.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
- In a separate pot, or pan, melt butter. Add onions and saute until soft.
- Add garlic, and saute 1-2 minutes.
- Add flour to the pan and whisk together with the onions and garlic. Let the mixture cook about 1 minute.
- Slowly add the milk, a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly. The only lumps you should see should be the onions.
- Continue adding milk and whisking constantly until all the milk has been evenly incorporated.
- Bring the roux to a simmer and let it heat until thickened, about 5 minutes, whisking often.
- Add the thickened roux to the potatoes and chicken broth in the large pot.
- Using a potato masher, mash potatoes in the pot until there’s minimal chunks.
- Turn the heat to low, and add the chicken and ham.
- Add salt and pepper to soup to taste.
- When heated through, add the swiss and stir until melted and evenly incorporated.
I love soup. I mean, I really love soup. Most people, I’ve found, prefer soup to warm them up on a cold winter night. I don’t just relegate soup to only winter weather advisory days, but feel it is an all-encompassing meal, even in Summer. I could eat soup 365 days a year and be a very happy camper. That being said, I do have four hungry boys, and a hungry husband who prefer their soups to be hearty so I’m always trying to find soups that can stand alone as a satisfying meal. I’m pretty sure, when I met my husband, he was convinced a soup could never be a ‘manly’ meal, and definitely never a meal he would feel ‘stuffed’ after. I’m pretty sure that unspoken ‘I told you so’ is the elephant in the room every time he naps after eating just ‘soup.’
Given my husband’s Italian heritage, and our love of all things pasta, I figured I would give Paula Dean’s lasagna soup recipe a try. Naturally, my guys were skeptical about any recipes’ ability to make a soup, however hearty, truly taste like one of their all time favorite pasta bakes; however, they’re always up for trying anything new that I put out on our table. Boy, were they blown away by the finished product! It really did taste like, you guessed it, lasagna. I did make a few changes to suit my tastes and make it a little less soupy, but it only enhanced the flavors and left everyone feeling all warm, fuzzy, and full afterwards.
UPDATE: Wow. It’s been 2 years and I’m finally getting around to updating this recipe’s photos. Trust me, it needed to happen. I’ve left the original posted at the bottom for your viewing enjoyment. Or not. 😉 We don’t always go the crust bread loaf route when serving this. Another favorite is pairing it with slices of Texas toast that have been toasted and then slathered with our homemade Italian garlic butter. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper; chopped (I omitted)
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6-8 cups chicken broth (depending on desired consistency)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups broken lasagna, pappardelle, or egg noodles
1 & 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 loaf of ‘crusty’ bread, optional
1. In a large skillet combine ground beef, ground sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef and sausage are cooked through and crumbled. Drain.
2. Transfer meat mixture to a large stew pot and add in broth, tomatoes, sauce, thyme, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat.
4. Reduce heat, and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add in noodles and continue simmering until noodles are tender.
6. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
7. Serve soup and garnish each bowl with shredded mozzarella and a piece of warm, crusty bread.
Aaaaaand, here’s the original photo: