Select SAUTE mode on the pressure cooker to melt butter. Once the butter is melted add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer.
Stir in the fresh or frozen broccoli, broth, salt, and pepper. Lock the lid in place and select HIGH manual pressure for 2 minutes cook time if using fresh broccoli or 1 minute cook if using frozen. When the timer ends, carefully quick release the pressure, wait for valve to drop, and carefully remove the lid.
In a small bowl whisk together ¼ cup cornstarch with ¼ cup water until it's smooth. Select SAUTE function and add the cornstarch / water mixture to pot, stirring constantly, until the soup comes to a boil and thickens. Hit CANCEL to turn off the pressure cooker.
Add handfuls of cheddar at a time, stirring to melt between each addition. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the half and half. Serve hot with additional shredded cheddar on top, if desired.
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stove top instructions
Complete step one in a large saucepan.
Add broth, salt, pepper, and broccoli. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup water until smooth. Add cornstarch slurry to pot and boil until thickened.
Return to pot and add handfuls of cheddar at a time, stirring to melt between each addition. Once cheese is melted, stir in half and half. Serve hot with additional shredded cheddar on top.
Substituting Milk, Cream, or Non-Dairy Milk
Regular milk or non-dairy milk, such as almond milk may also be substituted. It would reduce the calories in the soup and make it even healthier. However, the soup will be thinner and not as rich tasting.
Freezing Broccoli Cheese Soup
Broccoli Cheese Soup can be frozen, BUT the soup may "break" or have a thinner consistency upon thawing.Defrost the soup in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove. If the soup is thinner than desired mix together 2-4 tablespoons of cornstarch with equal amount of water.Bring soup to a boil, add cornstarch slurry, and stir until thickened.
Low Carb / Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup
Replace the cornstarch with xanthan gum. Start with 2 teaspoons xanthan gum dissolved in 2 tablespoons water. Increase by the teaspoon (mixed with a little water) for thicker broccoli soup.
How to Thicken or Thin Soup
To thin the soup, either use 1-2 tablespoons less cornstarch mixed with less water or add additional milk or cream at the end.
To thicken broccoli cheese soup add softened cream cheese, additional cheddar, or more cornstarch mixed with water.