Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup is a smooth and creamy crock pot soup garnished with a variety of tasty toppings, from sour cream and shredded cheese to crispy bacon and green onions.
Oh, soup…how I love thee. We flirt in October, when other parts of the country have dropping temps while we Texans are still wearing shorts and flip-flops. You become a part of our regular rotation come November and December, because it just feels like soup season…even when the weather isn’t cooperating. But in January and February? Well, it’s finally legitimately chilly enough around these parts to enjoy you for your cozy, warming effects!
So as I sit by a (sadly de-Christmas-ified) fireplace with flames a-cracklin’, I can’t help but think back to the delicious, filling, comforting Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup that we relished this past weekend. I make a quick and easy Parmesan Potato & Cauliflower Soup and a Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder with Ham quite regularly, but cold weather and a post-holiday haze had me craving something a bit more decadent in the potato department. And what’s more decadent than silky, sour-cream-and-butter-laced potato soup, drizzled with more sour cream and generously topped with freshly grated cheddar and crispy diced bacon?!
You may notice that I’m omitting the pictured green onions from my dreamy description above. Those who know me in real life (as well as my regular readers) are already familiar with my well-documented loathing of anything onion. So rest assured, dear friends, that after decades as a self-proclaimed onion-hater, I have not changed my tune. Rather, since green onions (or chives) are regularly used to top baked potatoes by those who don’t find onions (or cousins of onions) quite so repelling — and since said green onions also brighten up potato soup pics quite nicely — I used them as food props for photographic purposes only. I can promise you that I gagged when I chopped them and that I picked off every last one of those suckers before taking a single bite of my soup. 😉
Anyway, back to the recipe at hand. I don’t know what took me so long to make this type of baked potato-mimicking soup, but I can assure you that it’s going to be a regular menu item around here now that I have. The first time I ever tried this kind of soup was back when I was a first grade teacher. There was a parent at our school who pretty much put Martha Stewart to shame, and how lucky we were that she spearheaded a schedule of regular teacher appreciation luncheons! I fondly remember one luncheon, in particular, that centered around a soup and salad theme. There was a Loaded Baked Potato Soup on the buffet of which I just could not get enough! Lucky for me, Better-Than-Martha had the foresight to put together a cookbook for the staff featuring all of the parents’ recipes that we had enjoyed at all of our luncheons throughout the entire school year. Was she great or what?
So when I finally decided to make this soup, I consulted that sweet little cookbook from my teaching days of yore. But the recipe that I so longingly remembered called for actually baking the potatoes and then scooping out and mashing the pulp. I knew that I wanted to make a crock pot variation, so I decided to just slow cook my potatoes in broth and then purée them at the end, much like I do in my aforementioned Parmesan Potato & Cauliflower Soup. In keeping with the whole baked potato theme and for a touch of richness, I then stirred some milk, sour cream, butter, and cheddar cheese into the puréed potato/broth mixture. And as for the garnishes…well, you can see that I didn’t skimp on those. 😉
One last note and then I’ll get on with the recipe…if you don’t have an immersion blender, I highly recommend investing in one or putting one on your wish list! They’re not too expensive, but they are invaluable when it comes to puréeing hot soups like today’s recipe. Before I got an immersion blender, I used to transfer such soups to a blender in several batches…and let me tell you from experience that puréeing hot tomato soup in a blender can lead to a kitchen full of tomato soup splatters that you will continue to discover years later. Ahem.
So who’s ready to put your crock pot to work making a savory supper of Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup? It’s guaranteed to please, it’s guaranteed to warm you up…and I promise to look the other way if you decide to garnish it with onions. Blech. 😉
Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe
Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- 4 pounds baking potatoes, such as Russets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup grated cheddar
- Sour cream
- Grated cheddar
- 12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled/chopped
- Diced green onions or chives
- Place cubed potatoes, chicken stock, and garlic in large slow cooker. Season with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high (or until potatoes are completely tender).
- Turn heat to warm and use an immersion blender to purée potatoes until smooth and creamy. Stir in milk, sour cream, butter, and grated cheese. Stir until all ingredients are melted and incorporated. (You may add a bit more milk if you prefer the consistency of your soup to be thinner.) Taste soup and, if necessary, season with additional salt and pepper. If soup is not hot enough at this point, place lid back on slow cooker and heat on warm for 5 to 10 more minutes (don't heat too long after the dairy is added or the soup may turn brown around the edges of the pot).
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with your favorite baked potato toppings: a drizzle or dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, chopped bacon, and/or diced green onions.
- You may use vegetable stock and omit the bacon if you would like to make this soup vegetarian.
- You can use skim milk, 2%, whole milk, half-and-half, heavy cream...it's up to you! But obviously, the fattier the milk product you use, the richer and creamier the final soup is going to be.
- The type of stock or broth you use is going to dictate whether or not you need to add additional salt at the end.
- If you don't have an immersion blender, you may purée this soup in batches using a food processor or blender. Just allow it to cool down a bit before doing so, work with small batches at a time (don't fill your blender more than half way!), and leave the top of the blender cracked so that steam can escape and soup doesn't explode everywhere!
- To drizzle sour cream, I stir it until smooth, scoop into a plastic sandwich baggie, and snip off a tiny piece of one corner. Then I use it like a piping bag for drizzling.
Recipe adapted from Five Heart Home.
More Cozy Soups
- Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup
- Easy White Bean, Kale, & Sausage Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker German Lentil Soup with Sausage
- Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles
- Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon