Start the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode. Add oil or butter. Let it warm up for a minute. Add chopped shallots and minced garlic. Sprinkle some salt. Sauté for couple minutes. Add broccoli florets, carrots, Italian seasoning and vegetable broth or water. Give a good stir and make sure nothing is stuck at the bottom.
Mix the corn starch with ¼ cup water. Pour it in. Add salt and pepper. Close the lid. Valve at SEALING. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and select 1 minute. ( If you are using frozen broccoli , choose 0 minutes ) After Instant Pot finishes cooking, allow for pressure to release naturally.
Open the lid. Using a potato masher or back of the spatula, mash the soup mix. Press SAUTE. Add milk and let the soup come to gentle boil. Add grated nutmeg. Stir well. Cancel SAUTE.
Now slowly add grated cheese. Stir well so that cheese dissolves smoothly. Serve immediately garnished with some grated cheese, fresh ground black pepper and chili flakes. Bon Appetit !
STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS :
Use a heavy bottom Dutch Oven or Soup Pot on medium high heat. Warm up oil and saute all the vegetables and Italian seasoning for few minutes. Add vegetable broth and corn starch water mix, lower the heat , cover the pot and let them cook til broccoli and carrots are tender. Mash the cooked mix using potato masher.
Add milk and let the soup come back to gental boil. Stir in grated cheese and mix well stirring often so cheese dissolves smoothly. Serve immediately garnished with some grated cheese, fresh ground black pepper and chili flakes. Bon Appetit !
For Instant Pot, if you want to double the soup, the cook time remains the same. Make sure the ingredients don’t go above the max fill line and to avoid messy splatters, only use a full natural release.
Freshly grated cheese melts better in warm soup. I prefer to avoid store brought pre-shredded cheese since it has anti-bacterial and anti-caking agents in it. Pre shredded cheese tends to clump up instead of melting.
Since there aren’t that many flavoring ingredients, it is important to use a flavorful broth in this recipe. You can use low sodium broth or use Better than bouillon paste.
The soup is mildly flavorful. If you are looking to spice it up, add more ground black pepper or red chili flakes.
I prefer to use mild or sharp cheddar cheese for this soup. You can substitute it with Italian cheese blend, Colby Jack or Pepper jack.
To make this soup vegan, use plant-based milk and vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Almond milk or coconut milk both work well.