There’s nostalgic comfort in a can of Campbell’s chicken soup. There’s also a satisfying ritual in making your own—broth and all—from scratch. For a chicken soup recipe you can make on any old Wednesday night and that still delivers that homestyle flavor, we found a middle ground.
Here are the ingredients that make this meal possible:
1. Fire-roasted tomatoes: We love the convenience of canned diced (or crushed or whole peeled) tomatoes, but fire-roasted tomatoes are like multiple ingredients in one because roasting just amplifies the tomatoes’ already sweet flavor. In this recipe, we drain the diced tomatoes and cook them down to further concentrate their flavor and create a fond (because fond equals flavor). Later on, we add in the reserved juices with chicken broth to comprise the soup’s broth.
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2. Premade pesto: Instead of drizzling olive oil in the bottom of the pot to kick off the cooking process, we use a dollop of store-bought pesto. Not only do you get the richness of olive oil, but aromatics like basil and garlic, as well as the sharpness of the cheese, are built in as well. At the end of cooking, we add just a couple more tablespoons of pesto to round everything out with bright flavor.
3. Vacuum-packed gnocchi: Sure, you could just add noodles to your chicken soup. But why have noodles when you could have plump, pillowy gnocchi in each bite? We use the shelf-stable vacuum packed variety because they hold their shape well, while helping to keep things quick and convenient.
“This is just the soup of my dreams,” Ashley says. “The pesto and the gnocchi really took this soup to the next level and it became such a satisfying meal.”