Comfort in a bowl! Broccoli Cauliflower Cheddar Soup is your answer when you need a cozy vegetarian dinner ASAP. It’s ready in 30 minutes and made in one pan (or, the Instant Pot!)!
Heading into this week similar to last: on a search for comfort!
I know you don’t come here for weather updates, so I won’t try to bore you there, but I will just say that after a weekend hitting 40°F, we’re back in the negatives. Freezing. Worse than freezing, really.
Which means one thing and one thing only: SOUP.
Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese Soup, to be exact.
This soup is Minnesotans only saving grace right about now, and when it comes down to it, I’m guessing it’s everyone’s right about now.
We survived January (YAY), but we still have a few more weeks, er, months, of freezing cold to get through, and we need comfort to help us through it.
Comfort food in the form of soups that are addictingly good (even for those who don’t always turn to soups).
And a soup like this one? It hits all the marks.
It’s obviously not hard to love a classic broccoli cheddar soup.
We all remember the day we fell in love with Panera’s version way back when, right? Please tell me it isn’t just me…
The days when you would order a big bread bowl full of it, baguette on the side, too, please and thank you, chatting with your friends next to the fireside table about your latest crush, that not-so-nice teacher, and the upcoming weekend plans.
This version is undoubetly inspired by those teenage days at Panera, with one added bonus veggie surprise – the cauliflower!
All the reasons to love this soup
I’m really hoping all the reasons to love this soup are obvious, and I could talk about it for days.
I’ll spare you the days part and go over a few highlights.
First things first: it has cauliflower! Not your average broccoli cheese soup, now is it?
Cauliflower adds another texture and added veggies and more nutrition (a mom’s dream!) lending this creamy soup to a healthier version of itself.
Because this soup uses a variety of vegetables, it’s an excellent way to use up those extra veggies you have in the fridge (especially that random bag of shredded carrots you forgot about…).
The added beauty is that you can easily use all cauliflower or all broccoli in this recipe, depending on what you have on hand.
How To Make Broccoli Cauliflower Carrot Cheese Soup
Like any delectable soup, this starts with the comforting combination of butter and onion, sauteeing away in a large dutch oven.
Really, is there any better aroma while cooking? Then it’s taken to the next level with the addition of garlic, which comes next. You know there’s got to be garlic.
You’ll whisk in a bit of all-purpose flour to help thicken the soup slightly. Then we have the remaining ingredients (as always, remember to see the full recipe card below for details):
- Vegetable stock – adds flavor and the base for our soup. It’s a vegetarian soup, so naturally it calls for veggie stock. If you’re not vegetarian and prefer chicken stock, feel free to make that swap.
- Half and half – you can’t have a creamy soup without a little, now can you? This is the reason why you’ll want to be sure to simmer the soup instead of boil, we don’t want our dairy scalding.
- Shredded carrots – more veggies! I like to use either a box grater or food processor to shred the carrots. You can also buy pre-shredded carrots to save a little bit of time if needed.
- Broccoli and cauliflower – the main stars. They go in at the end to simmer away.
- Cheddar cheese – Hi, cheese, my love. Remove the soup from the heat and stir the cheese in batches. This ensures that it melts evenly, without breaking apart or clumping together.
- Salt and black pepper – if you know, then you know. If you don’t, let me fill you in on a secret: layer in your flavor! Add a pinch of salt in the very first sautee steps, and continue taste testing and adjusting as needed. Keep in mind the cheese adds a bit of saltiness, so be sure to test again once it’s added and adjust accordingly.
And the final “ingredient” you don’t want to forget: a fresh baguette or sourdough loaf. There’s nothing better than a slice of thick crusty bread to dip in this creamy, luscious, comforting soup. BAM!
Can I make it in the Instant Pot?
Yesssss, I know. We all want more Instant Pot recipes, right?
Final Instant Pot test – check! And check! Delicious as ever.
If you want to make this broccoli cheddar soup in your Instant Pot, there are just a few tweaks, and obviously, an adjustment of time, before you have your soup ready in no time!
What should my Instant Pot settings be for this soup recipe?
So glad you asked! Set it t to run at high pressure for ZERO, yes, zero, none, nada, minutes.
By the time everything inside comes to pressure, the veggies are cooked through. Any longer and they would become mushy…something we definitely do not want.
The other most very important change you must note if making this soup in the Instant Pot, do not add the dairy until after it is done cooking. Both the half-and-half and the cheddar cheese.
There you have it. Your next weekday dinner ready in a flash. Kid-friendly, family-friendly, and single-girl-taking-leftovers-for-lunch approved. 😉
More Vegetarian Soup Recipes to Love:
- Vegan Broccoli Butternut Squash Soup
- Healthy Vegetable Lentil Soup
- Curried Carrot Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup
- Roasted Tomato Carrot Ginger Soup
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Broccoli Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
- 3 TBSP butter
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion diced (1 small onion)
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups half-and-half
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower florets chopped
- 1 large carrot shredded*
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese shredded* (2 cups once shredded)
- In a dutch oven or stockpot, melt butter over medium heat and add diced onion. Sautee for a minute, then add garlic with a pinch of salt; continue sauteing for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in flour, continuing to whisk for 1-2 minutes to cook the flour down. Whisk in vegetable stock, incorporating with the flour mixture. Add half-and-half, salt, and pepper (to taste), and white pepper. Then add broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot. Simmer - do not boil - for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are just tender enough to be pierced with a fork.
- Remove from heat, and stir in shredded cheese in batches. Adjust salt and pepper as your taste desires, and serve!
Instant Pot Directions:
- Using the sautee function of your Instant Pot, melt butter and add diced onion. Sautee for a minute, and add garlic with a pinch of salt. Whisk in flour, continuing to whisk for 1-2 minutes to cook the flour down. Add white and black pepper, and an additional pinch of salt. Whisk in 2 cups vegetable stock, incorporating with the flour mixture. Add broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot. Cover, making sure the lid is sealed, and set to high pressure for zero minutes. Once it's come to pressure, carefully quick release the pressure.
- While the Instant Pot is working its magic, warm the half-and-half in a small saucepan on the stove. Once you've released the pressure after cooking, stir in half-and-half. Add shredded cheese in batches, stirring to melt in between each addition. Adjust salt level according to taste (since you weren't able to while cooking).
- To save on packaging and price, buy carrots whole and shred them yourself. For this recipe, I use the large holes on my box grater.
- I highly recommend shredding your own cheese! This eliminates having the anti-caking agents that are often in pre-shredded cheese and that can make your cheese gritty and separate during melting.
This post was originally published in February 2019; some photos and text were updated, along with the addition of a video, in October 2020 for clarity. No changes were made to the recipe