Aggie's Kitchen

Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto

So yes I know it’s summer and I’m posting about soup. It just doesn’t seem right does it? But after being away from home for almost a week (and after eating lots of good food and drinking lots of good wine and of course let’s not forget the not so good stuff that goes along with travel), all I wanted when I got home was a big comforting bowl of vegetable soup.

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably have heard me mention “detox soup” quite often. This soup would definitely fall in the detox soup category. It’s one of those soups that is nothing but good for you, full of clean veggies and protein and if you are feeling a little “off” will get you back on track in no time.

It’s kind of funny how I was inspired to make this soup. Part of the reason for the craving is that last week when I was in the airport waiting to board my plane for Utah, I was catching up on some blog reading. I stumbled upon this recipe for Garden Vegetable Chili on Make and Takes written by Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia. Although it was 6:30 in the morning and I was sitting in an airport, I instantly got a craving for a bowl of this soup. I kept thinking, when I get home, I am making Garden Vegetable Chili. So, fast forward a few hours…I am finally in Salt Lake City walking in late to Helene of Tartelette‘s Food Photography workshop (put on by foodiecrush) and who do I see sitting at one of the tables? Lindsay of Cafe Johnsonia. I just thought that was kinda cute and funny.

So technically I really didn’t follow the recipe for Lindsay’s soup…but it definitely did inspire me to make my own version when I got home. I ended up going a different route and adding homemade pesto to the vegetables before I cooked them down to give it a little extra flavor. I loved it and so did my whole family! My kids, my husband and I enjoyed this for dinner one night last week…it hit the spot in our bellies and also helped clear out my overflowing produce drawer. Can’t beat that.

Print Recipe

Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto


  • 4 tablespoon pesto (preferably homemade, but store bought is fine)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 2 summer squash, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained but not rinsed (I prefer Bush's Beans kidney beans)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained but not rinsed (I prefer Bush's Beans cannellini beans)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (I used regular, but Italian seasoned is fine)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of water (I add water to tomato can and swirl to pick up any additional juice from can)
  • pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • julienned basil, for garnish
  • Parmesan, grated, for serving


  1. Add pesto, onions and garlic to large pot over medium heat. Stir with wooden spoon and cook for a few minutes till onions begin to soften. Add bell pepper, zucchini and squash to pot and combine gently until all vegetables are coated in pesto. Cook for a few more minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
  2. At this pointed I transferred vegetable mixture to crockpot. With the vegetables I added the beans, tomatoes, water salt and pepper to crockpot, set it on high and let it cook for 3-4 hours.
  3. If you prefer to leave it on stove top, add beans, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a slow boil. Once it's boiling, bring soup down to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with grated Parmesan and julienned basil for a light summer dinner.

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34 comments on “Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto”

  1. I actually love soup/stew/chili all year long! Looks good to me. All of those delicious veggies- how can you go wrong? Hope you are having a nice weekend

  2. I could eat this all year round every day! Healthy, low calorie and very delicious!

  3. I see no problem with soup in the summer, that’s what a/c is for right?

  4. So, this totally made my day! How sweet are you?! I love the pesto idea. I think the next time I’m following *your* recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish I had made it over to chat with you during the workshop. Maybe some other time…

    • It was almost surreal seeing you unexpectedly in real life like that…so fun! Wish we had more time to chat as well. Hopefully we will meet again ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a feeling I will be back in SLC sometime, I absolutely love it there! You live in a beautiful place!

  5. This looks great, Aggie! And your top photo is awesome! Great job. xx

  6. The soup looks wonderful! I love soups that are easy, chunky, no gluten noodles!, vegan…rock on girl!

    And Evo. Omg I am sooo disappointed I didnt go. During Evo I was in Mexico City on a photography tour with Penny de los Santos but had I not been there, I would have been at Evo. I am so bummed I couldnt go.

    It’s been great following you on Instagram too ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Aggie, what a wonderful “detox” summer soup, full of vegetables and pesto, a favorite! Hope you enjoyed your trips. Enjoy the summer!

  8. I love soups like this. Thankfully, I love eating healthy, but it’s even better when it cleans out your produce store.

    I know what you mean about feeling reset, or back on track. I had a weird couple of days last week, food-wise (translation: second week of quitting smoking was driving me to the kitchen far more than I should have been in there…), and Friday, yesterday and today I have eaten CLEEEEAN to reset my system. I feel so awesome again. Ahhhhh.

    • good for you Melissa…I’m so proud of you for quitting! Your body will definitely thank you. Eating clean really does wonders doesn’t it?

  9. these kind of soups are really my favorite – full of flavor and they don’t make you sluggish; i say bring them on rain or shine, hot or cold!!

  10. It’s always a good time for soup ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially a healthy, comforting soup!

  11. always, always, rinse canned beans!!!!! The “canned” taste comes from the liquid! Guest ask how I made the beans….rinsed from the can. Use low sodium beans too!

  12. GIRL, I’m with you.

    A) even if it’s summer, soup is always welcome in my mouth hole.

    B) I always ALWAYS drizzle a little pesto into veggie soups, because, well, it’s just a badical move. The end.

  13. I eat soup year round, love it, never get sick of it. This recipe looks delicious. Love your photography too!

    How did I miss you at the CFLBlogCon? I’m book marking you ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Not usually in the mood for soup in the summer either, but will definitely save this recipe–it looks wonderful!!! And I’ll be using my new HimalaSalt pink salt from Sustainable Sourcing (here’s their website: so you can try it too!). Thanks for posting!

  15. I love soups even in the summer and I know that we’re not alone. This looks awesome, Aggie!

  16. Love all of the veggies. Great photos too!

  17. This looks so delicious. Very summery fresh and the pesto is a great touch!

  18. The soup looks really comforting!

  19. I know its hot but I have been craving soup too, this looks delicious

  20. Love all of the vegetables! I agree there is nothing like soup to get you back on track!

  21. Too funny – I actually had the pesto veggie soup at Panera this week – and we have been in the high 80’s-90’s! I think the fact I sit in air conditioning all day has something to do with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Soup looks delicious!

  22. Aggie,

    I know what you mean about getting bck on track with your eating after traveling. I just got home from a 2 week trip myself, and I was really looking forward to rehydrating myself and having more control of what I’m eating. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am also a year round soup eater. Just think….it’s summer-friendly in the sense that it doesn’t heat up your kitchen ya know? Stovetop baby…..

    AND that conference in Utah looked amazing!!! I can’t wait to get to another blog conference….let me know if another one in Florida pops up.

  23. i loved the pesto base on this soup and the beans. i linked you up on my blog:

  24. a.) It’s totally acceptable to make soup in the summer. I have done it and love it!
    b.) I love detox soups, especially after being away from home for a while–you just need something light and healthy for your stomach.
    c.) I love that bowl!

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