This is a great way to add some secret vegetables to your kid’s diet (and maybe husband’s).
The reason this has so many vegetables is it’s thickened with pureed cauliflower. I also like the flavorful addition of leeks.
1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
One entire block of cauliflower chopped not too carefully, plus one 16 ounce can of beer, 2 tablespoons chicken base, 4 or 5 stock cubes (or you can use half beer/ half canned chicken stock. I would recommend using low-sodium chicken stock). For gluten free, use a gluten-free beer or I suppose you could even use white wine, or water with a couple of teaspoons of sherry.
When I chop up that cauliflower, I use ALL of it with the exception of the little leaves. The core is fine, it’s going to be pureed, and adds plenty of thickening power to the soup. You could probably use the leaves to be honest with you.
This doesn’t seem like a lot of liquid, but start off light. There is a ridiculous amount of liquid in cauliflower (who knew right?) It’s always easier to add liquid if you need to.
Set your Instant Pot to 20 minutes, high pressure. Natural release for about 10 minutes after.
Perfectly cooked through.
Puree. I find the easiest way to do this is with an immersion blender but food processor or regular blender would be fine too.
Puree the crap out of it. Smooth as a baby’s bottom is what you’re going for here.
If it seems too thin (and of course this is going to depend on how big you cauliflower head is) you can always boil it to thicken. It is easy to fix, but you want it fairly thick to suspend the cheese.
3 cups of shredded cheddar. I am finding the Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar is excellent for cooking, and very economical. I buy it at Sam’s club.
1 decent sized leak (all but the dark green part). Quartered and sliced. I love leeks for soup recipes.
And some protein? It’s optional. This is about 2 cups of chopped smoked turkey breast (they had turkey breasts on sale, and my darling husband smoked it for me). There are so many meat options here though…sausage maybe? That would be delish. Or just go all veggie. Definitely flavorful, either way. I have added broccoli at this point as well to make broccoli cheese soup. It’s like an entire week’s veggies in one sitting.
Taste, and adjust the salt level (I do this with chicken base).
Cook until warmed through. How long this is depends on how much of a hurry you’re in. This was a Sunday afternoon, so I slow cooked on high for several hours while football played out. Alternately, you could saute in your Instant Pot, stirring the whole time, until it’s all warm. Either way it is delightful!
Served with a slice of pumpernickel bread. Even Miss PickyPants loved it.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup
- Instant Pot
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 large leek quartered and sliced
- 16 ounce light lager
- 2 tablespoons chicken base
- 4 frozen stock cubes or omit the chicken base and use chicken stock, about 1 cup, and chicken base to taste
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, beer, chicken base, frozen stock cubes and chopped cauliflower to Instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, and allow to natural release for 10 minutes, then open. Puree contents until smooth. Add cheddar cheese and leeks and cook on high slow cook until cheese is melted and you are ready to eat the soup.