Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup has fresh broccoli, carrots and lots of cheddar! It's a hearty, filling and vegetarian soup ready in 20 minutes in the pot. Comfort in a bowl.
Broccoli and cheese are made for each other and when they come together in a creamy soup, it's pure comfort in a bowl. I made this soup for the first time when my son was down with the sniffles and he LOVED it. Now it's become a family favourite, sniffles or not!
Plus it's so easy to make. I've said it before, but the instant pot is the perfect appliance for making soups. Everything gets pressure cooked quickly and you don't have to wait for hours to eat. And this one's a truly simple affair because it's got shredded broccoli, onions, garlic and carrots. They soften in literally 4 minutes of pressure cooking and then you get to add the goodies: grated cheddar and half and half to make it super-creamy and rich. Here's the full ingredients list -
What goes into the instant pot broccoli cheddar soup?
Butter, half and half cream and cheese
Unsalted butter and half and half make the soup rich and delicious. If you quail at the thought of so much fat, use milk. It won't have the same richness but it will still taste good.
As for the cheese, do make sure it's sharp cheddar for maximum taste. Mild or medium just doesn't cut it. It's best if you grate the block of cheese yourself but if you're short on time, just buy the grated cheese. I use either, depending on the time I have.
Onions, garlic, broccoli, carrots
Dice the onions and garlic fine. A lot of people use onion and garlic powders but fresh is always best.
Likewise, I used fresh broccoli since it's available so abundantly in the market. You can use frozen broccoli too for this recipe as it gets mixed into the soup anyway.
I love the matchstick carrots found in bags in the produce section of supermarkets for this soup. It saves the hassle of grating or dicing carrots (not my most favourite task in the world) and they look pretty.
Vegetable broth and vegetable bouillon cubes
To thicken the soup, I make a roux with half the butter and flour first. You can do it in the instant pot as the first step or add it later to the soup to thicken it.
A secret ingredient: Madras curry powder!
I know, I know. Curry powder sounds like a weird ingredient in soup, but trust me, it tastes awesome. One tablespoon of Madras curry powder gives this instant pot broccoli and cheddar soup another dimension. I do reduce the bouillon if I'm adding curry powder. Too much of a good thing ain't good no more.
However, this is an optional ingredient. If you don't have it or don't want to add it, feel free to leave it out. It won't hurt my feelings:)
How to make Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1. Wash the vegetables and chop them fine.
2. Grate the cheese.
1. Make the roux. Switch on the instant pot to sauté (normal) and melt the butter. Add the flour and stir continuously until the flour is cooked and looks golden. Add a few tablespoons milk to loosen it slightly.
If you do not want to add the flour now, make the roux with half the butter in a small frypan on low heat and keep aside. You can add it after the pressure cooking cycle is over along with the half and half cream and cheese. In this case, melt the other half of the butter and add the garlic and onions first followed by the other ingredients.
2. Add the broth, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, paprika, black pepper, vegetable bouillon cubes and Madras curry powder if using. Mix everything well and pressure cook for 4 minutes.
3. Let the pressure release naturally and open the pot. Switch to sauté again and add the half and half cream and cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted and the soup thickens (5 minutes). Take the soup out into bowls and top with more grated cheese and carrots if you want and serve hot.
A brilliant way to serve this broccoli cheddar soup is in these homemade bread bowls. They are easy to make and if you are entertaining, your guest will be impressed! Plus, the soup tastes lovely with some crusty bread. Have the soup and eat the bowl afterwards!
More vegetarian instant pot soups from the blog
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 medium head broccoli chopped into very small florets
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Switch on the instant pot to sauté (normal) and melt the butter. Add the flour and stir continuously until the flour is cooked and looks golden. Add a few tablespoons milk to loosen it slightly.
- Add the broth, onions, garlic, broccoli, carrots, paprika, black pepper, vegetable bouillon cubes. Mix everything well and cancel sauté. Fit the lid and make sure the steam release handle is sealed. Press the pressure cooking button and set the timer to 4 minutes.
- When the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally and then open the pot. Switch to sauté again and add the half and half cream and cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted and the soup thickens (5 minutes). Take the soup out into bowls and top with more grated cheese and carrots if you want and serve hot.
- Sometimes flour makes the soup thick while it is being pressure cooked and triggers the burn notice. If you do not want to add the flour in step 1, make the roux with half the butter (2 tbsp) in a small frypan on low heat and keep aside. You can add it after the pressure cooking cycle is over along with half and half cream and cheese. In this case, melt the other half of the butter (2 tbsp) and add the garlic and onions first followed by the other ingredients in the recipe.
- Add a tablespoon Madras curry powder if you have it along with the other ingredients. Use just 1 bouillon cube if you decide to add curry powder.
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