slow cooker potato soup

$5.87 recipe / $0.73 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.39 from 36 votes
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I’ve hesitated to make potato soup for quite some time because all I could think about is how creamy and carby it must be. Surely it’s not good for me to eat that every day, right? Well, that’s right… unless you make it like this.

I made this super delicious, veggie packed, low fat potato soup and guess what? It’s also super inexpensive! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. To make this soup healthier, I left the skins of the potatoes on, added celery and carrots, and used 1% milk thickened with flour rather than cream.

This soup is so delicious that not only did I gobble down two bowls as soon as I was finished making it (tsk, tsk), but I didn’t even bother to add the “toppings” that I had bought for it (cheddar, green onion, parsley). For that reason, I decided not to include any toppings in the price break down. It’s good enough to stand alone. Besides, there are way too many topping options and everyone will probably use something different… you can do sour cream, cheese, green onion, parsley, bacon, smoked paprika, or nothing at all because IT’S ALREADY DELICIOUS.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Top view of a bowl of slow cooker potato soup with spoon

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Slow Cooker Potato Soup

4.39 from 36 votes
This slow cooker potato soup is rich and hearty, plus the slow cooker does all the work!
Servings 8
Prep 20 mins
Cook 8 hrs
Total 8 hrs 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion ($0.79)
  • 2 stalks celery ($0.35)
  • 2 medium carrots ($0.25)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic ($0.24)
  • 3 lbs. potatoes ($3.00)
  • 6 cups chicken broth* ($0.40)
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 2 cups milk ($0.72)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • Finely dice the celery and onion. Peel the carrots and then grate them on a cheese grater. Mince the garlic or use pre-minced from a jar. Add all of this to the slow cooker. Clean the potatoes well, cut into one inch cubes or smaller, and add them to the slow cooker.
  • Prepare 6 cups of chicken broth by dissolving the chicken base in 6 cups of water (or use homemade or store bought broth). Add to the slow cooker. Add some freshly cracked black pepper (about a 1/4 tsp). Secure the lid on the cooker and cook on high for approximately 8 hours (give or take an hour).
  • Open the slow cooker and test the potatoes for tenderness. They should be very soft. The onions and celery should also be very soft and transparent. Whisk 1/4 cup of flour into 2 cups of milk and then stir that mixture into the soup. Secure the lid once more and let cook on high for another 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, the soup should once again be bubbling. It needs to be bubbling for the flour to have it’s full thickening power. Use a potato masher, immersion blender, or a hand mixer to “mash” the potatoes. Or, you can transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree (be careful, it’s HOT) until smooth and then stir it back in to the rest. Taste the soup and add salt as needed (about one teaspoon). Serve hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

I use chicken base or bouillon plus water in place of broth to save $$$.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 191.44kcalCarbohydrates: 37.71gProtein: 6.88gFat: 2.36gSodium: 1053.2mgFiber: 4.01g
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Top view close up of a bowl of slow cooker potato soup

Step By Step Photosvegetables (carrots, onion and celery)

Start by preparing your vegetables. Obviously, you can’t buy just two carrots and two stalks of celery, but that doesn’t mean that you have to waste a whole bag just to get what you need for this soup. I always dice up the rest of the bag and freeze it to use in a soup later. Many, many soups start with onion, celery, and carrot, so I often have what I need in my freezer and don’t have to buy them! See an example in this post (scroll down to the step by step photos).

diced vegetables
Dice the vegetables very small so that there aren’t huge chunks in your potato soup. Carrit can be difficult to dice because it’s round, so I just grated it on a cheese grater. Also, carrots don’t get as soft as the rest so it was nice to have very small pieces.

four whole red potatoes
I used red potatoes because I love them. I left the skins on and just cleaned them really well (I love potato skin, call me crazy). I would stay away from using yukon gold potatoes because they tend to be more “waxy” and will not mash into the soup as easily. Also, I bought four potatoes, but they were huge so I ended up only using three, which was about 3 lbs. total.

cubed potatoes in slow cooker with other vegetables
Cut the potatoes into small cubes – one inch or smaller. The smaller you cut them now, the easier it will be to mash them up later. Add all of the vegetables to the slow cooker (onion, celery, carrot, garlic, potatoes).

chicken broth and pepper added to slow cooker with vegetables
Make 6 cups of chicken broth with the chicken base (I use Better Than Bouillon brand) and add it to the slow cooker. Also add some freshly cracked pepper. Secure the lid on the pot, turn the heat onto high, and let ‘er rip. Cook for about 8 hours (a little more or less is okay).

cooked soup in slow cooker
And then when you come back later (or wake up in the morning, in my case) you’ve got a nicely cooked “soup” of a mixture. All of the vegetables are very soft and will mash up easily.

flour and milk in measuring cup to make thickening agent
And here comes the “creamy” part. Whisk the all-purpose flour into the milk, trying not to let any big lumps remain.

milk mixture being added to slow cooker with other ingredients to thicken
Pour the flour/milk mixture into the soup, put the lid back on top and let it cook on high for another 30 minutes or so. It needs to come back up to a bubble for the flour to actually thicken the soup.

finished soup in slow cooker ready to be mashed
And then the soup is ready to be mashed. Lucky me, I don’t have a potato masher so I had to improvise. First I used a whisk, which didn’t work so well. So then I mashed some with a large spatula, and then I finally pulled out my hand mixer and “mixed” on low speed (to prevent hot splashes) for a few minutes until it was somewhat mashed. I still had some potato pieces, but I like a slightly chunky texture. Mashing the potatoes releases some starch into the soup which will help thicken it further. Give the soup a taste and add salt as needed. I added about a teaspoon of salt. This pic is pre-mashing.

Bowl of slow cooker potato soup with spoon
And then, if you must, add some delicious toppings… but I’m telling you, I tore this soup up all on its own. The potato skins in the picture kind of look like ham… I bet ham would be another yummy topping! Too many options. :P

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  1. Yum!! I made this tonight and added corn, broccoli and mild Italian sausage, and threw some white pepper on top!!! Hmmm. True comfort in a bowl! And the house smelled amazing for the whole day. I did accidentally put the slow cooker on low for 8 hours instead of high, but it turned out fine! I just put it on high when I put the flour in.

  2. We loved this soup! I used your ingredients and cooked it in a Dutch oven on the stove top since that fit better into my schedule today. This soup really tastes like potatoes, unlike a lot of recipes that call for a lot of cheese or bacon. Definitely a keeper – it’s perfect for a cold winter day!

  3. As is, this soup is quite bland. I love lots of recipes on this site, but this wasn’t my favorite. I ended up adding about 10 oz of cheese, a can of corn, and paprika to spice it up. My household loved it after I added those! It’s super filling and cheap, but I don’t think I’ll keep the recipe around. 

  4. I LOVED this! I’m a young wife who wasn’t taught how to cook growing up so I’m learning as I go. Trying to get bette for my husband and future family. Got a slow cooker for Christmas and came across this recipe last night… It turned out so great, I love it, my sister took two bowls, and my husband loves it and is taking it for lunch! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, it was so simple and sssooooo delicious 

  5. I would love to make this with carrots and broccoli.   How would you add them to the soup?  

    1. I’d probably add the carrots in the beginning because they can hold up well to slow cooking, and probably add the broccoli later so it doesn’t get overcooked. :)

  6. Super easy and delicious! Took us 7 hours in the slow cooker (not including after we added milk). My partner can’t eat meat so we used vegetable stock instead. Someone said they added corn as a garnish and we did the same which made it even better. As someone who is usually not a fan of soup, I’m glad we gave this one a go and we’ll be making it again soon!

  7. First time I’ve tried making potato soup – this recipe looked easy & healthy-ish – so I gave it a shot! I used Yukon gold potatoes before I saw the comment near the end of your post… oops! But it seemed to turn out fine, anyway.  I ate a couple servings with only green onions as a topping… it was good,  but for me it needed something “extra.” Tonight I dished out a portion,  then added corn, cooked chicken breast, and a dash of cayenne. A little extra milk to thin it out a bit.  Green onions & crumbled turkey bacon went on top.  Voila! Chicken corn potato chowder.  Very tasty!  I also froze a couple portions to see how that works.  A good, versatile recipe. Thanks!

  8. Question: my potatoes are kind of old and some of the skins are dried out/are greenish underneath when peeled. Would the slow cooker soften them up or would it be better to peel them? I normally like to keep the skins off but don’t want them to be chewy.

      1. Thanks! I used russet potatoes and peeled them, then used an immersion blender and a potato masher to get the consistency right. It thickens up as it cools down. Topped with bacon bits and green onions.

  9. It’s been unusually cold here even for winter and I’ve been craving comfort food but haven’t had a lot of time to cook. This was perfect! Creamy, carby but not over the top. This is going into our rotation for sure.

  10. Ok this recipe threw me for a loop. I thought a stalk of celery was the whole bunch so I literally bought two heads of celery. But the pictures only show two ribs of celery. Can you help me? 

  11. This was a great recipe. It tasted less like potato soup and more like carrot and celery soup, but it was still a great recipe. Husband even used the word “fantastic”. We like it saltier, so I added more salt than the recipe called for, despite the bouillon. :) the consistency is great too, although i used whole milk and two tablespoons of flour.

    Thank you!!!

  12. Love, love love this potato soup along with Beth and everything budget bytes. I didn’t have 6-8 hrs, so I made this on the stovetop as mentioned in another post. I cooked it for about an hour or so (added a bit more water because I kept getting sidetracked) and then added the milk/flour mixture and cooked for another 30-45 minutes per the recipe. I added a few pinches of red pepper flakes for heat and 2 TBSP of butter. You don’t need it at all, but I did top it with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and a few bacon bits – why not go all out ;)

  13. I made this in my Instant Pot and it was great! Cook on manual high pressure for 30 minutes then quick release. I used a hand mixer to make it smooth while it was still in the pot then added the milk and flour. Saute in the pot until it’s bubbling. Super easy and it made a ton of soup!

    1. So my soup yield was much larger than I expected. Can I freeze the leftovers?

  14. Does this cook on “high” for 8 hours? Leaving it unattended, so I wanted to make sure.