This condensed chicken vegetable soup is packed with flavor and can be made up to a week ahead of time. Just add more stock and dinner is served!
Lately, the weather has been unseasonably warm one day, and then appropriately chilly the next. I'm not waiting for soup season anymore, though. It's soup season in my house, and sooner or later it'll be the same in yours. So let's talk about it.
On the near side of soup season, you'll also find the holiday season—which means multiple Food Olympics events (otherwise known as Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between). I've already shared a recipe for gluten free cream of chicken soup, with mushroom and potato varieties, too.
Condensed cream of soups are absolutely perfect for all manner of holiday recipes, such as green bean casserole. But they're, well, necessarily milk based. This recipe for condensed chicken vegetable soup is smooth, rich, and creamy, but has absolutely no cream or milk at all.
Why condensed soup?
A condensed soup is thicker than your “normal,” finished soup as it's a concentrated form of soup. You can use it in its condensed form for cooking, or you can thin it with more stock or even water and heat it like you would a can of soup (but it's homemade!) before serving.
This condensed chicken vegetable soup is packed with roasted and pureed root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) and butternut squash (or any other type of squash really). Roasting vegetables is the best way to enhance their natural sweetness and flavor. For even more nutrients, don't peel the root vegetables before you chop and roast them.
Roasting the vegetables does take a few minutes, but most of the time is hands-off. If you'd prefer to steam or boil the vegetables, much of their flavor will be lost in the cooking water. You can roast the vegetables a few days ahead of time, if that makes things easier.
When you roast the vegetables, try adding some bone-in chicken parts to the pan. It will add more flavor to the vegetables, and then you'll have the chicken ready for serving with the soup. I like bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs best here, as they have tons of flavor but aren't quite as rich as drumsticks. If you'd prefer to cook some chicken separately, just use the instructions in my recipe for shredded chicken taquitos.
Watch how easy it is to make in this 50-second video
Just push ▶️ and then make your own condensed chicken and veg soup!
What about the stock?
If I can, I make my own chicken stock in the Instant Pot (but of course good quality store-bought chicken stock is excellent, too; I like Pacific brand). It's ridiculously easy to throw a few pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken parts in water with a bunch of aromatics (garlic cloves, a peeled and quartered onion, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaves), but not a lot of salt. Turn on the 30-minute soup function and come back when the pressure has released naturally.
My friend Mel has a lot of Instant Pot learning on her food blog, if you'd like more information. I'm not as in love with mine as she is with hers, at least not yet. :)
Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, these are just my best guesses, unless I specifically state that I've made the substitution myself. That being said, this soup is pretty customizable and takes substitutions like a champ!
Dairy-Free: Easy. Just use Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of unsalted butter. Watch how much salt you add at the end though since that stuff is pretty salty on its own.
Cruelty-Free: Haha that's a new -free category even for us! You can make this entirely without chicken by using vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, and leaving out the shredded chicken. Maybe add some more roasted vegetables in its place? For a vegan alternative that you can make in your pressure cooker, take a look at this Instant Pot Lentil Gumbo from Cotter Crunch.
Flour Blend: This recipe is best made with my gum free gluten free flour blend, which has only 3 simple ingredients, including superfine white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. If you'd like a quicker way to make this recipe, you can try replacing that blend with an equal amount, by weight, of superfine sweet white rice flour (also known, frighteningly, as “glutinous rice flour”).
Salt: You'll notice that salt is added mostly at the end of the recipe, and to taste. I find that that's the best way to control the amount of salt in the recipe because once you put in too much, you can't take it out. If you add a lot of salt at every stage of the recipe, you lose that level of control.
Condensed Chicken and Vegetable Soup
2 pounds root vegetables and squash (sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash), peeled
2 tablespoons (28 g) extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 cups (24 to 32 fluid ounces) chicken stock
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (54 g) gum free gluten free flour blend
2 leaves fresh sage
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked shredded chicken, for serving (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Peel (and seed, if you’re using butternut squash) the root vegetables and squash, and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Place them on prepared baking sheet and toss with the extra virgin olive oil (no salt!). Spread the chunks into a single layer and place in the preheated oven. Roast until fork tender (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool until no longer hot to the touch. Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor or blender. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups (8 to 12 fluid ounces) of the chicken stock (depending upon how thick the vegetables are) and puree until very smooth and pourable. Set the puree aside.
In a large, heavy-bottom sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the gum-free flour blend, and mix to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden brown and nutty smelling (about 3 minutes, and it will go from very blond to golden brown and fragrant quite suddenly, so pay close attention). Add the vegetable puree, and mix to combine. Whisk or stir until smooth.
Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock, and the rosemary, sage, and thyme. Whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is beginning to thicken (2 to 3 minutes). Remove the solid aromatics, and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until a visible trail is left behind while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Add more stock to thin if serving right away, and add the optional shredded chicken. If not serving right away, allow the condensed soup to cool to room temperature before transferring to a 1-quart canning jar and storing in the refrigerator until ready to serve.