Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

“Slotted spoons don’t hold much soup…”
Stephen Sondheim,
Into the Woods

Not a very glamorous bowl of soup, but it was really good and with another Thanksgiving and Christmas season upon us what could be easier than a nice pot of soup for busy nights…

Michael loves broccoli cheddar soup and offered to grab some along with a salad at Panera, but I told him that I had all of the ingredients for the soup and a fabulous Greek salad so armed with one of my two Instant Pots, I was ready to go, but that left plenty of time to do nothing but clean out the pantry and get a few things organized for the upcoming holiday cooking adventures.  Hey, I even got lazy about peeling a few potatoes that I like to put into the soup as I found a bag of Idaho mashed potato flakes while shuffling things around in the pantry…so onward to an easy version.

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons butter
1 and 1/4-1/2 pounds of roughly chopped broccoli heads (if using any of the stalk, peel, and chop into small pieces)
1 cup of diced Vidalia onion
about 1+ 1/2 cups of shredded carrots, give them a little rough chop
4 small garlic cloves smashed and minced
1 bay leaf
a small pinch or two of grated nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock/2 pods of Knorr concentrated stock-6 cups water
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces of thickly shredded cheese
*Optional crispy pancetta cubes
*Optional sprinkle of Cajun or Creole seasoning
Idahoan mashed potato flakes about a cup to thicken your soup if necessary, but this will be added a little at a time to get the consistency that you like
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the pancetta cubes in the Instant Pot until crispy, and reserve on paper towels

Toss the butter into the Instant Pot and when it is melted add the add the vegetables and bay leaf sauté for about two minutes and deglaze with the white wine.  Add everything but the heavy cream, the shredded cheese, and the mashed potatoes, season with a little salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning.  Secure the pot lid and turn vent to closed set for manual pressure, high for 5 minutes…quick release after 4 or so minutes and add the heavy cream.  If your soup is too thin, this is where you add the mashed potato flakes, about a heaping tablespoon at a time stirring in between additions until your soup is as thick as you like it.  Serve. hot with crumbled crispy pancetta cubes.  Greek salad is great along with a piece or crusty bread or garlic bread.