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Easy Roasted 3-Tomato Pesto Soup

This easy roasted 3-tomato pesto soup has so much amazing flavour! I make it with three different kind of tomatoes – fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and canned tomatoes. Add basil, because tomatoes and basil are just meant to be together. It’s healthy, and best of all EASY. Sometimes I throw everything in a pot on the stove to simmer, but if I’m especially busy I’ll just put it in an instant pot and let it cook itself.

White Chicken Chili

I’m not sure what it is about spring, but I always want this soup! Tomatoes remind me of hot august summer days, and soup is a winter thing… combine the two and it just seems perfect for when all the snow is melting, days are getting longer but it’s still cozy season.

White Chicken Chili with cream cheese

There are some special secret ingredients in this soup that give it the most amazing flavour, but that doesn’t mean it’s not super easy. The first step (and secret!) is roasting the fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic. It takes under 5 minutes to chop them all up, toss them in some olive oil, and throw them on a sheet pan. To me, roasting really takes no effort; you just put it in the oven and it cooks itself, but everything gets a bit caramelized and that’s the secret to this soup’s incredible flavour. I’ve tried it without roasting, and it’s still good, but just not the same. After that, you scrape everything off the sheet pan in to a large pot or instant pot, add all the remaining ingredients, and leave it to simmer. If I use an instant pot, I’ll put it on slow cook for 4 hours, and when I come back from my morning or afternoon training, it’s ready and waiting. All I have to do is give it a quick blend in the blender.

Healthier White Chicken Chili

Besides the fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic, there’s a can of tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. I love the flavour the sun-dried tomatoes add! Other secret ingredients – I put a bit of sugar. Tomatoes can be quite acidic. My mom taught me a trick years ago that when you cook with them, whether in a soup or pasta sauce, add a bit of sugar to counter that acidity. I also add balsamic vinegar. You can’t really taste it, if you’re not a balsamic fan you could omit it. But, have you ever had a sandwich with fresh tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze drizzled on top? It’s so good! That’s one of my favourite summer lunches, and what this soup was inspired by.

I think we all have the nostalgic memories of a creamy tomato soup from our childhood. At least I do. My mom made a lot of things homemade, but she also worked, and moms are busy! Even as a kid I ate a ton of canned soup (apparently, I take after my grandpa there). We definitely ate our fair share of canned soup, and Campbell’s creamy tomato soup was one of my favourites. Is Campbell’s a Canadian brand? I’m not sure, but you take the soup concentrate, and add a can of milk. It tastes a lot like Panera’s tomato soup – so good. I wanted to add that nostalgic element to this recipe, too. To make it creamier, I add a bit of butter. You could use olive oil instead, if you’re in more of an Italian mood, but I’m a fan of the butter. Once your soup is roasted, simmered and blended, it will be pretty thick. I made it this way on purpose, so you can thin it out to your desired consistency using whatever liquid suits your mood. You can thin it with more chicken broth, but my favourite is milk or 10% cream (coffee cream). If you wanted it super creamy, you could use a heavy cream. It usually needs about two cups more liquid. Generally, I’ll put 1/3 cup of cream, 2/3 cup chicken broth, and a cup of milk. Make it however you like!


Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Best White Chicken Chili Recipe


Roasted 3-Tomato Pesto Soup

Servings: 12 cups

Prep time: 15 minutes

Roast and Simmer time: 1h 30 minutes (no labour involved)

Total time: 1h 45 minutes


  • 5 large tomatoes

  • 2 onions

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 23oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ cup butter or olive oil

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • ½ cup pesto

  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1tsp dried

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/3 cup cream, optional

  • Additional chicken broth, milk or cream to thin to desired consistency


Preheat your oven to 400°F. Chop your tomatoes in to quarters, and your onions in to pieces about half the size of the tomatoes. Peel your garlic cloves. Place the tomatoes, onions and garlic on a sheet pan and toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and everything is a bit caramelized.


Place a large pot on the stovetop, on high heat. Once your tomatoes are done roasting, scrape everything off the sheet pan in to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients, except the cream or milk – diced tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, brown sugar, balsamic, butter or olive oil, chicken broth, pesto, herbs, salt and pepper. Give it a stir to combine everything. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer (low), place a lid on the pot, and let everything simmer for 1+ hours.


Ladle all your soup ingredients in to a blender, and blend until everything is smooth. You can either pour it back in to the pot, or keep it in the blender to thin. It will be pretty thick at this point. Use additional chicken broth, milk or cream to thin it to your desired consistency. I like a pretty thick soup, and used 1/3 cup of 10% cream, 2/3 cup chicken broth, and 1 cup of milk – so 2 cups of liquid total. You can use whatever liquid and amount you want, to make it as thick or thin as you want! Cream and milk will give your soup more of a “creamy tomato soup” flavour.

Healthy White Chicken Chili


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