Are you preparing a lot of soup these days? I find myself apologizing to my husband for all the soup we’re eating. He doesn’t seem to mind, but I feel like I’m cheating, especially when I use my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. It’s just so easy to make soup sometime during the day and leave it on “Warm” until we’re ready to eat, even if it is hours later.
This recipe is a variation of my previously published Vegetable Cheese Chowder. Since I’m trying to keep an eye on my carb intake, I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes and flour resulting in a soup as comforting and satisfying as the original recipe.
The instructions below are written for the Instant Pot, but you can easily prepare it on the stove. Conventional directions are in the notes at the end of the recipe below.
The base for this recipe is a batch (one head) of mashed cauliflower. I like to make mine in the microwave for maximum ease and no mushiness, but if you have another recipe you like, use it instead, minus any seasonings. You could also use commercially-prepared frozen mashed cauliflower.
IDEA: If you really like cauliflower and want some texture in your soup, save back a few cauliflower florets before you mash the cooked cauliflower and coarsely chop them before sprinkling over the soup. (See picture below.) I prefer no chunks of cauliflower but that’s just me.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ whole onion, chopped
- 1-2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 batch of mashed cauliflower without seasonings (See this or use your own recipe, or use commercially-prepared frozen cauliflower)
- 2-3 medium carrots, peeled or scrubbed and diced into ½-inch cubes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup whole, 2% or ½% milk, almond milk or cashew milk (Use only as much as you need to thin soup to your preference.)
- 1 cup shredded American processed cheese or any mild melting cheese like Colby, cut into chunks (optional: leave out if you are trying to avoid dairy)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Make a batch of mashed cauliflower according to your favorite recipe or see mine here.
- If using an Instant Pot, press "Sauté" button. When hot, add oil, then onions and celery. Stir often and cook until softened but not brown.
- Add chicken broth, carrots and bay leaf. When mixture comes to a boil, put lid in place and position pressure valve toward the back. Turn off "Sauté" button. Press "Manual" button and set time on High Pressure to 5 minutes. Release pressure manually.
- Stir in mashed cauliflower and cheese. Add milk of your choice until soup is as thick or thin as you like. Do not allow to boil.
- Remove bay leaf before serving. Soup can remain on "warm" in the Instant Pot for hours.
- Stir in pepper, salt, and fresh chopped parsley.
- OPTIONAL: Before you mash the cooked cauliflower, hold out a few of the florets and use them to garnish the soup if you like a little texture and really want to taste the cauliflower.
Saute onion and celery in butter until softened. Add carrots, broth, and bay leaf. Cook until carrots are tender.
Stir in mashed cauliflower, then milk, then cheese. Season and add chopped parsley. Don't allow soup to boil after adding the cheese.
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