If you’re a lover of all things pickle (and even drink the juice out of the jar, like I have), prepare yourself for your new favorite soup. This isn’t the first dill pickle-style soup and it certainly won’t be the last, but it will be the best! I use a sweet onion, carrot, celery and potato base laced with savory dill pickle juice prior to pressure cooking. From there, we blend the soup up directly in the Instant Pot before putting on the final pickle-y and dairy finishes. This dill pickle chowder isn’t even close to overpowering and is the perfect embodiment of comfort in a bowl!
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter
- 1 Vidalia (sweet) onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 4 cups garlic or chicken broth (I use 4 teaspoons Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 4 cups water)
- 1 (20-ounce) jar kosher dill pickles, diced with 1 cup of their juices reserved (NOTE: I prefer Claussen "Sandwich Slices" for easiest dicing - see video for more explanation. These are found in the refrigerated section of your market). Save some diced pickles for garnish
- 2 pounds Idaho/russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 (5.2-ounce) package Boursin, (6.5-ounce) tub of Alouette (any flavor of either will do) OR 2/3 cup Garlic Herb Cheese (choose one of these, not all three)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon celery salt or seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)
- 3 sprigs fresh dill leaves, plus more for garnish
- Add the butter to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Once the butter's melted, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the broth and pickle juice (but not the pickles) and stir. Top with the potatoes and smooth them out. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position and hit Cancel followed by Pressure Cook or Manual for 8 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Blend for about 1 minute with an immersion blender (preferred and SO much easier/less messy) or, in batches, blend in a blender until puréed. (NOTE: it's okay if you leave it a little chunky - your call - but I like it fully blended).
- Stir in the herb cheese, cream, celery salt (or seasoned salt), pepper, Old Bay (if using), diced pickles, and dill. Stir until the dairy is fully melded. (NOTE: If you don't mind there being less body and chunkiness to the soup, you can give it another blend with the immersion blender). Serve topped with additional pickles and dill, if desired. Also goes great with soft, hot pretzels.
If you want this chowder SUPER pickle-y, use up to TWO 20-ounce jars of Claussen kosher dill pickles and up to 1/2 cup more pickle juice in Step 4. But make sure you taste the chowder first before deciding if you'd like to add more pickle juice.
The pickles don't HAVE to be Claussen "Sandwich Stacks" variety, but it's definitely my fave and the easiest to dice. Regardless of which cut of pickle you go with, try to use the Claussen brand or a dill pickle that's in the refrigerated section of your market as they're the freshest.
Love dill pickles? Try Richard's outrageous Dill Pickle Dip - it's the first dip to go at any party!