Slowcooker Loaded Potato Soup

17

 

You need this potato soup in your life. Really.

First of all, potato soup? Delicious in its own right. But when you add bacon, onions that have been cooked in the bacon fat, cheese, and sour cream, it gets elevated to awesomely delicious. Add in the fact that this is a slowcooker recipe, so it’s done by the time you get home from work without much effort on your part, and you have yourself what’s sure to become a family-friendly staple.

I’m always wary of crockpot recipes, even though I’ve found several that work beautifully. One of the things people love to cook in a crockpot is soup, but I’ve found that a lot of soups or chilis I’ve tried in the crockpot have just been flops. I trust Josie, though, so when she posted this I added it to our menu for the very next week. And if you couldn’t already guess, I am so, so glad I did.

The original recipe calls for cooking this for 4-6 hours, because people who create crockpot recipes apparently do not realize that the bulk of people who actually use said recipes are probably gone for a hell of a lot longer than 4-6 hours. I cut the potato pieces slightly larger than the 1/2″ the recipe calls for (probably closer to an inch) so that they wouldn’t be total mush by the time I got home, and they weren’t. The only other changes I made to this recipe were using less cheese, mostly because I realized I only had about 6 oz. of a block left. That said, I think it was totally fine (I added about 4-5 oz. to the soup and used the rest for garnish). I also subbed half and half for the cream, since that’s what I had on hand.

I cut the onions and bacon the night before and contemplated peeling and cutting the potatoes and storing them in water, but decided to just cut them in the morning. It really wasn’t a problem to do that while the bacon and onion were cooking. The prep for this recipe is really not too bad, but the only negative (or positive, depending on how you look at it) is that if you’re wearing work clothes while getting everything ready, you’re likely to smell like bacon and onions for the rest of the day.

This soup has a wonderful texture – nice and creamy without the use of too much cream. It has a slight bacon flavor throughout, and it has just a little tang from the sour cream. This recipe fired on all cylinders, and will definitely be making a reappearance or two or five this fall and winter.

Slowcooker Loaded Potato Soup

  • 15 minutes
  • 6 hours
  • 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tsp. fresh minced thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 " - 1" pieces
  • 5-6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and a little extra for topping
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (light is fine)
  • Sliced scallions

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, 5-7 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and refrigerate until serving.  Pour off all but about 2 Tbsp. of the fat from the skillet.
  2. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until fragrant, an additional minute or so.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits.  Cook until the mixture starts to thicken, then transfer to the slowcooker.
  3. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of  broth, potatoes, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper into the slow cooker.  Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low (I cut my potatoes in pieces closer to 1" and left it for 9 hours; it was fine).
  4. Transfer 3 cups of cooked potatoes to a medium bowl with the half and half and mash until smooth using a potato masher.  Return the potatoes to the slowcooker, along with the shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Stir to combine and let the soup sit until heated all the way through, about 10 minutes.
  5. When ready to serve, microwave the bacon on the plate until hot and crispy, about 30 seconds.  Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into bowls and top with bacon, shredded cheese, and scallions.