First the recipe and then I’ll share how I make this extremely cost effective!

Instant ham broccoli cheddar soup (inspired by Panera- YUM)

All of my photos of the soup are terrible and do not look appetizing so here is one from The Chunky Chef whose soup recipe inspired mine.


  • 2 tablespoons butter Divided
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves Minced
  • 3 cups stock (I’ve used chicken or my own home made ham broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (with stems) You can use frozen if you wish, the pot may take a little longer to come to pressure.
  • 1 cup of chopped celery (totally optional, but if I have some on hand I add it as a filler)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of cubed cooked ham


  • Place the Instant Pot on the saute function. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, chopped onions, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the broth, broccoli, celery, salt, pepper, red pepper and garlic powder to taste to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal. Cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
  • While the soup cooks, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter and stir.
  • When the pot indicates it has finished, quick release the steam and place it on warm.
  • Open the pot and add the heavy whipping cream, ham, and shredded cheddar to the pot.
  • Scoop out a couple of tablespoons of the soup and add it to the bowl with the melted butter and flour. Stir and add the mixture back to the pot. This will thicken up the soup.
  • Place the Instant Pot on saute for a few minutes until the cheese has melted.
  • Serve in bowls.


I recently bought ham at full price and I hated to do it, but I really wanted this special soup recipe that I make because it’s been cold here. I told myself Next time spiral ham is on sale/clearance I am going to buy extra and freeze them as I have done in the past.

Ham usually drops under a dollar a pound after Christmas and Easter. I saw it for 89 cents at Aldi today and I stayed true to my words and bought four!

That was $85 worth of ham for $33. Almost  50 dollar savings!

Cha ching!

Here is why I get excited about ham. Everyone in my family will eat it. I can by one ten pound ham for under 10 bucks and make a nice dinner, plus have leftovers for my broccoli cheddar soup (it’s a terrible photo, but it’s delicious), and also to add to eggs or lunch.

So for $10 I can have a good portion of three meals for a family of six. In today’s economy I will shout that deal from the roof tops! I also have ham broth in my freezer. I don’t always make broth out of the carcass, but when I do then I feel like I am really maximizing my dollars. If you don’t have an extra freezer, just buy one ham it’s still a great deal.  I know this isn’t the healthiest recipe of all time, but sometimes feeding my family a home cooked meal is the best I can do. Maybe someday we’ll be all organic, but until then I am not going to worry about it and in case you’re struggling I hope this gives you permission too.

I can’t tell you exactly when and where the deals are, but keep your eyes peeled and next time you spot ham marked down under a dollar a pound snag one (or four). Heat it up according to package directions. Cut up the leftovers and then circle back to this recipe for my family’s FAVORITE soup.