Here’s the fastest cheese-and-potato soup we can imagine! The Tater Tots break apart— even break down— under pressure, leaving you with little potato shreds, as if you’d grated a potato into the soup. Those potato bits also thicken the soup, particularly as it sits a few minutes after cooking to melt all that (absolutely necessary) cheese. The frozen hash brown cubes then give you more little bits of potato throughout the soup for a better overall texture. Dried herbs work better than fresh here. They have an earthier flavor that matches the Tater Tots and cheese. And one other thing: Heat the liquid up before you add the Tater Tots. Otherwise, they fall to the bottom of the pot in the (colder) liquid. You’ll end up with a burn notice, no question.
6cupschicken or vegetable broth1 1/2 quarts
2tsppeeled and minced garlic
2tspdried basiloregano, or thyme
1/2tspground black pepper
1lbfrozen unseasoned hash brown cubes(3 cups, NOT frozen shredded hash browns
Press the button SAUTÉ. Set it for HIGH, MORE, or CUSTOM 400°F and set the time for 10 minutes.
Mix the broth, butter, garlic, dried herb, onion powder, and pepper in an Instant Pot. Heat, stirring occasionally, until wisps of steam rise from the liquid. Stir in the hash brown cubes and Tater Tots. Lock the lid onto the pot.
Option 1Max Pressure Cooker Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 3 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
Option 2All Pressure Cookers Press SOUP/BROIL or Pressure Cook (Manual) on High pressure for 4 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off. The valve must be closed.
Use the quick-release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Stir in the cheese. Set the lid askew over the pot for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts. Stir again, then serve hot.
Beyond • For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must increase the broth to 2 quarts (8 cups). • For a richer soup, stir up to 1 cup heavy or light cream into the soup before you add the cheese in step 5. • For a sweeter soup, use half regular tots and half sweet potato tots (sometimes called “puffs”). • Garnish the servings with crumbled bacon, sour cream, and/or minced chives (or the green part of a scallion). Or crisp Tater Tots in a skillet, toaster oven, or an air fryer and use them as a garnish on the soup
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