Many of you have already discovered my classic Potato Soup recipe on the blog, which will forever and always be my favorite. But nearly every other comment we have received about this soup is from all of you slow cooking fans, asking if you can make the soup in your crock pots. As someone who shares a deep and undying love of all things potato soup and slow cooking, I was right there with ya! Unfortunately, the traditional recipe wasn’t one that that easily converted to slow cooking. Or at least, you couldn’t just dump all of the ingredients in and expect thick and creamy and delicious potato soup afterwards.
But I tested out a few different slow cooker approaches and finally figured out one that I think we’re all going to love. Just like my classic potato soup recipe, this one is super rich and creamy (but made a tiny bit lighter without heavy cream – yay!), it requires less than 20 minutes of prep time (mostly just chopping those potatoes), and it’s wonderfully comforting and delicious. But unlike my classic potato soup recipe, your crock pot gets to be the one to slow cook this soup to perfection.
Alright, let’s do this.
Slow Cooker Potato Soup Recipe Video (1 Minute)
The first step in this Slow Cooker Potato Soup recipe is probably the most time consuming — chopping up a storm. Chop up lots of potatoes (I strongly recommend Yukon golds), a big onion (white or yellow), and lots of cooked bacon (you can fry or microwave the bacon while you chop, or buy it pre-cooked).
Then toss everything in the slow cooker (<– this is the one I use!), along with lots of good-quality chicken (or vegetable) stock.
And then set the timer for 3-4 hours (on high) or 6-8 hours (on low), and walk away and let the slow cooker do its thing.
Then once everything has slow cooked, you’ve gotta do the final step on the stovetop. I know, I know, this recipe isn’t 100% slow cooker. But in order to have a soup that’s nice and thick and avoid using heavy cream, we need to make a quick and easy creamy roux on the stove.
So just melt your butter (or you can use reserved bacon grease, if you fried the bacon on the stove, which will be way more flavorful) and whisk it together with some flour to form a roux. Then whisk in a can of evaporated milk. And once the mixture comes to a simmer, it will thicken up into a really thick gravy-like mixture. Add that to directly to the slow cooker, and give everything a stir.
And then if you’d like an even thicker soup (which I recommend), use a potato masher to mash up about half of the potatoes in the soup. Or you can just leave them all chunky. Up to you.
(Or, some of you have asked about a slightly healthier soup. If you’d rather leave out the roux entirely and just have a brothy-er soup, you can do that, and/or just mash some of the potatoes if you’d like to thicken it up a bit.)
And then…ta da! A big crock pot full of delicious, creamy Slow Cooker Potato Soup will be yours to enjoy!
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
optional toppings: thinly-sliced green onions or chives, extra shredded cheese, extra bacon, sour cream
Add bacon, 3 cups chicken stock, potatoes and onion to the bowl of a large slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.
Once the soup has slow cooked and is about ready to serve, cook the butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat until it has melted. Whisk in the flour until it is completely combined, and then cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Gradually add in the evaporated milk while whisking it together with the flour mixture, and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then it should get really thick.
Immediately pour the milk mixture into the slow cooker with the potatoes, and stir until combined. Add in the cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), salt and pepper, and stir until combined. If you would like the soup to be even thicker, you can use a potato masher or a large spoon to mash about half of the potatoes (while the soup is still in the slow cooker) to thicken the soup up. If you would like the soup to be thinner, add in an extra 1-2 cups of warmed chicken or vegetable stock. Stir to combine, then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve warm, garnished with desired toppings. Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (This recipe will not freeze well.)
*You can either fry the bacon, cook it in the microwave, or buy pre-cooked bacon. If frying or microwaving, I recommend dicing the bacon before cooking it. And if you are frying it, I highly recommend saving the bacon grease for later and then using it to make your roux (instead of butter).
**I highly recommend using Yukon gold potatoes, which have the perfect texture and buttery taste for this soup. But Russet potatoes or red potatoes would also work just fine in this recipe.
***If you would like to make this recipe vegetarian, use vegetable stock, omit the bacon, and I would recommend adding in 2-3 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning for extra flavor.