The first time I started experimenting my Instant Pot, it was crucial that whatever I made was loaded with flavor. Better Than Bouillon was a big part of that. They have so many flavors and varieties but their ham base is easily one of my favorites (just try it in Gumbo). Now being it’s soup season, what better way to bring a classic ham & cheese sandwich to your table than to transform it into a chowder? Oh yes, I went there. Ham & Cheese Chowder is now a thing….with just EIGHT (or LESS) INGREDIENTS!
This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon/Summit Hill Foods.
- 4 cups ham broth (4 teaspoons Ham Better Than Bouillon + 4 cups water)
- 1/4 cup sherry wine (optional, if not using sub an additional 1/4 cup broth)
- 1 1/2 pounds Idaho/baking potatoes (about 3 of them), peeled and diced (NOTE: you can also use baby potatoes and quarter them with the skins on)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water to form a slurry (see Jeff's Tips)
- 5-6 ounce package of a garlic herb cheese, cut into chunks (optional)
- 4 cups (1 pound) shredded cheese, plus more for topping (I used half Swiss and half Cheddar but you can use any kind you like - See Jeff's Tips)
- 2 cups heavy cream or half & half
- 1 1/2 pounds ham of your choice (I used Virginia), diced into 1/4-inch cubes (ask the deli at the market to slice the ham into 3 thick slices of 1/2 pound each)
- Add the broth, sherry (if using) and potatoes to the Instant Pot. Stir well.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Hit Cancel and then hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting.
- Once bubbling, stir in the cornstarch slurry and let bubble for about 30 seconds before turning the heat off the pot – it will have thickened into a chowder consistency almost immediately.
- Add the heavy cream, garlic herb cheese (if using) and, in batches, whisk in the cheese. Stir until fully combined and then stir in the ham.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with some toasty garlic bread, if desired.
You can also add less cheese if you prefer by starting with 2 cups and working your way up (just like the slurry). However, given that this soup is supposed to emanate a ham & cheese sandwich, I like it super cheesy.
To keep it less carb-heavy, sun a large head of cauliflower for the potatoes. Remove the stalk, chop it up and add it to the pot when you would the potatoes, but lessen the pressure cook time to 1 minute instead of 5.
When serving, you can also top the soup with a few small drops of liquid smoke to give it an extra smoky flavor!
If you make the recipe as written and you place any leftovers in the fridge, it’s going to really thicken. When reheating and if you decide you want to thin it out, simply add more broth or cream to your liking and stir until its the desired consistency.