Cozy up with Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese Soup this season! It’s a comforting vegetarian soup and is quick and easy to make – ready in 30 minutes and all made in one pan, or the Instant Pot!
This easy vegetarian soup recipe hits all the marks: it’s warm, cozy, and comforting. It’s cheesy. And it has loads of vegetables – but you don’t really feel like you’re eating a healthy vegetable soup.
It has the perfect blend of both broccoli and cauliflower, and of course some carrot, too, for the just-right balance.
Ingredients for Broccoli Cauliflower Soup
This soup needs just a handful of simple ingredients that come together to make this magical soup.
- Onion and Garlic: our flavorful aromatics! The two create a savory base.
- Broccoli: this super vegetable adds heartiness, texture, and crunch to the soup. Not to mention it’s basically cheddar’s BFF when it comes to recipes.
- Cauliflower: why not throw two cruciferous vegetables into a soup? Cauliflower helps mix up a typical broccoli cheddar soup, adding additional nutrients, texture, and very subtle flavor that pairs well with broccoli.
- Carrots: a nod to the classic Panera soup, carrot adds a nice color, and grating them adds another textural element to the soup. The slight sweetness balances out the bitterness from the broccoli and cauliflower too.
- Vegetable Stock: The base of the soup’s liquid. If you are not specifically vegetarian, you can also use chicken stock.
- Half-and-Half: bringing creaminess and richness to the soup is the job of half-and-half. You can also use whole milk for a lighter soup, or heavy whipping cream to make it extra rich.
- Cheddar Cheese: creamy and smooth, this cheese is top-notch in this soup. I highly recommend buying a block of cheddar and shredding it yourself using a box grater or food processor. Pre-shredded cheeses often have an anti-caking agent on them and don’t melt as well.
- Butter, Salt, Pepper, and Flour: used to help assemble the soup and add flavor, and the flour works as a thickener. Use corn starch to make this recipe gluten-free.
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.
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 it, we don’t want our dairy scalding.
- Shredded carrots – more veggies! I like to use either a box grater or a 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!
How to Make this Soup in the Instant Pot
Vegetarian soup in the Instant Pot?! Yes indeed!
To make this recipe in the Instant pot, combine everything in the bowl except for the dairy. That means you are leaving out the half-and-half AND the cheese to start.
Set the Instant Pot to run at high pressure for ZERO minutes. Yes, zero, none, nada… zero minutes.
By the time everything inside the pot comes to pressure, the veggies are cooked through. If the Instant Pot was set to cook any longer, the vegetables would become mushy, which is something we definitely do not want.
After it’s come to pressure, quick release the pressure, then stir in room temperature half-and-half, and the cheese in batches, until it is all melted into the soup. Don’t forget to taste test and adjust the salt levels, since you weren’t able to while cooking.
There you have it. Your next weekday dinner of cheesy broccoli soup is ready in a flash. Kid-friendly, family-friendly, and single-girl-taking-leftovers-for-lunch approved.
What to Serve with Broccoli Cheese Soup
And if you need even more added texture, top with homemade croutons!
Yes! You won’t need to cook them as long, so test them for doneness throughout the cooking process to prevent them from becoming mushy.
Yes, use cornstarch at the end of the cooking process, or gluten-free flour.
If you want to freeze this soup, I recommend making it without the dairy, since dairy does not freeze and reheat well. Once thawed, stir in the half-and-half and cheese before serving.
Yes, use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables to your desired texture.
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
Be sure to check up the round-up of our favorite vegetarian soups, too!
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 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced (1 small onion)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Salt, to taste
- 3 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups half-and-half, room temperature
- 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.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, making it is sealed. 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.
- Storage: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheating: heat in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.
- *Look for cheese specifically labeled vegetarian, if needed.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.