Friday, February 16, 2018

Cooking with Pressure: Broccoli and Cheese Soup

I’m going to make this broccoli and cheese soup in my mini Instant Pot, but I’m sure any pressure cooker will work. I love Panera’s broccoli and cheese soup, but it can be pretty expensive. Walmart carries a 16 oz for 3.98, while Sam’s Club has a 32 oz tub 2 pack for 11.98. Meijer sell the 16 oz for 4.99! Note to self: compare more prices with Meijer. I always feel prices are a little high in that store. Buy more ar Sam’s

I’m going to try to make a version of their soup, but first I need to break down the ingredients and I will not be adding any preservatives, as they use a Nisin preparation for their food preservative. I do not know if this affects the taste of their soup.

The way a company lists their ingredients is the 1st ingredient is used the most then down the list to the least used ingredient. In Panera ingredients milk is used the most and hot pepper sauce is last so there isn’t very much of it. Going through their list of ingredients it’s:

1.  Milk
2.  Chicken Stock
3.  Water
4.  Broccoli
5.  Pasteurized Process Cheddar Cheese
6.  Heavy Cream
7.  Carrots
8.  Corn Starch
Then less than 2% of:
9.  Onions
10. Seasoning
11. Butter
12. Dijon mustard
13. Hot pepper sauce
14. Nisin preparation

So, now that we know their ingredients, what ingredients will you use? All of them or just some and tweak it with some ingredients of your own.  Here’s what I did.


2 cups of milk or heavy cream
8 oz of cheese, preferably cheddar, but you can use Monterey Jack, pepper jack, colby, Parmesan or even kraft American slices.
3 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional


Turn on you Pressure Cooker, if you are using the Instant Pot press the sauté button. When it gets hot add the butter, once melted add in the onions and garlic. Stir and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Cancel the sauté. Add in the broccoli, chicken broth, carrots, dill, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce (if you are adding or you can add this at the end). Put the lid on your pressure cooker making sure the steam valve is off or secured. Pressure cook for 15 minutes, then use the quick release method. Add the milk or heavy cream, stir to combine. Ok so you still need some heat to melt your cheese. With the Instant Pot put it on sauté then add the cheese and stir until it’s melted.  With the XL you just need to make sure it’s on. Taste test your soup after the cheese has melted to see if it needs any additional seasoning. Serve Yum Yum!


  1. I was wondering about the 6 cups of milk and broth since you said you are using the mini. I have not even used my instant pot yet, and just scared to try anything. LOL. But I do have the mini also.

  2. Just remember there are two max lines inside the Instant pot. The 2/3rds pc (pressure cooker) max line allows you to add more, than if you were using the slow cooker. I added 6 cups of water in the instant pot and it didn’t even reach the 1/2 max line. I’m new with the mini instant pot too. Just bought one after I went to a pressure cooker class. What I just learned that you can make hard boiled eggs in 5 minutes and they are perfect! You could use the slow cooker or sauté method just to get your feet’ll love it.