Chicken, Endive, and Root Vegetable Soup with Endive Parsley Pesto

Chicken, Endive and Root Vegetable Soup with Endive Parsley Pesto



1 whole chicken, approximately 3-4 pounds, preferably organic/free-range, giblets removed, rinsed and patted dry 

1 tablespoon organic butter plus 1 tablespoon olive oil (or use 2 tablespoons olive oil)

1 large organic onion, peeled and chopped

2 large organic carrots, peeled (optional) and chopped

2 stalks organic celery, cleaned and chopped

2 medium organic parsnips, peeled (optional) and chopped

2 small-medium organic turnips, peeled (optional) and chopped

Noodles- what kind you use and how many you add is really up to you- 8-16 oz. of regular or gluten-free pasta of any shape works well; I used Dreamfields brand spaghetti (I put most of the noodles in my kids' bowls, honestly)

2 heads of California endive (white or red), trimmed and roughly chopped

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Endive and parsley pesto:

1 head of California endive (I used red)

1 handful of organic parsley

1 pleasantly plump clove of garlic (or use 2 smaller cloves)

2-3 tablespoons of raw or toasted pine nuts

1-2 tablespoons of best quality olive oil

Pinch of sea salt



1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Pace chicken in the pot and, using tongs to move the chicken around, allow to sear for a minute or so on each side. Add a little water if necessary to prevent the chicken from burning/sticking to the bottom of the pot.

2. Move the chicken to the side of the pot and add the chopped onion. Cook for several minutes,, again adding a little water to the pot to prevent the contents from burning or sticking to the pot.

3. Add the rest of the vegetables (but not the endive: you'll add that toward the end), then add enough water to cover the chicken (about 10 cups). Bring to a boil, skim any foam that rises to the top, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 40-50 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (be careful when you slice into the chicken to test will be very hot).

4. Carefully remove the chicken and allow it to cool in a separate bowl. Add the chopped endive and the noodles to the soup pot and cook over medium-high heat for another 10 minutes, until the noodles are "al dente".

5. If you are going to serve all of the soup right away, you’ll want to remove the cooled meat from the chicken bones, chop or shred it, and add it back into the soup (again, please make sure to handle the hot chicken carefully). If not serving all of the soup now (or if serving some of it chicken-free), you can store the chicken separately and make use of it however you like: I often use some to make chicken salad.

6. Remove soup from heat and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


1. Using a sharp knife, chop the endive and pesto together by hand until they're finely chopped and reduced quite a bit in volume.

2. Incorporate the other ingredients and chop them pretty fine, too. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the olive oil and the salt. Taste and add more oil, if desired. Use as a garnish for the soup.

Winnie Abramson is one of five food bloggers associated with our OnDiva ambassadorship.  She is the writer and recipe developer behind the food blog, Healthy Green Kitchen