Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I went to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, for the first part of my college education.  And we all know what Idaho is famous for - POTATOES!  But there is also something about Rexburg - it is friggin' cold in the winter.  When that first snow flies, wow.  And then you drop below freezing.  And the wind blows.  And no matter what you wear, you are chilled to the bone.

So something that became a staple in my diet was soup.  Because potatoes were in abundance and super cheap I made potato soup a lot.  Granted most of the time that potato soup came in a can.  But there were times when I would break out the crock pot and let a big pot of soup just stew all day while I was in classes or at church.

Here's the problem with most potato soups - they lack flavor.  Potatoes are bland.  Simple fact.  And super starchy.  So you have to dress it up a bit.  For me, it's a no brainer.  Loaded Baked Potato.  In a soup.  Sour cream, cheese, and bacon.  Sauteed onions and garlic.  And it just has this lovely, smokey flavor.  I love to serve it with nice warm, soft breadsticks and a side tossed salad.  Perfect meal for a cold, winter evening.

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup


1 package (12 oz.) bacon
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. celery flakes
1 (32 oz.) bag frozen Southern style hash browns
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3 Tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 package bacon, cooked and chopped


1. Cook 1/2 of the bacon.  Drain grease but leave bacon bits in the bottom of the pan.  In the same pan, cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent.

2. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add hash browns, onion and garlic, celery flakes, and chicken broth.  Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

3. During last 30 minutes of cooking, make a slurry of milk and flour. Combine in a shaker and slowly pour into soup, stirring constantly.  Replace lid on slow cooker and allow soup to thicken. Add salt just before serving.

4. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and bacon.

Serves 8