Creamy Potato Garlic Soup: relax, enjoy

At one point in time, I owned four slow cookers. They ranged in size from small enough for two, to large enough to feed an army. And I hardly ever used any of them.

These days, I’ve narrowed it down to just three, and I’m finding more and more uses for them every day.

My smallest slow cooker is the perfect size to make overnight oatmeal for two, with a little left over to make oatmeal bread. Our large cooker used to hold gallons of SpaghettiOs for large potluck gatherings, or acres of mac and cheese. Using the slow cooker was a great way for the kids to be able to help themselves while we parents sat and socialized. No muss, no fuss.

These days, I’m finding that our medium-sized slow cooker is perfect for soups and stews. We have enough for dinner for two, lunches too, plus maybe a little to pop in the freezer for “get your own dinner” night.

When I came across a recipe for a creamy potato soup using instant mashed potato flakes, it sounded great to me. I love mashed potatoes and I love soup. Why not marry the two? But I wasn’t too keen on the instant flakes. I do use them sometimes, but I felt that there had to be a way to bring this soup together using real potatoes and savory chicken stock. Off to the kitchen I went.

It really only took two tries to get this soup recipe to come together. Five ingredients, less than 5 hours, and you’ll be able feed at least five people. It’s a bargain, no?

Let’s make Creamy Potato Garlic Soup.

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In your 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, place 1 1/2 pounds of white potatoes that have been scrubbed and sliced into 1/4″ rounds. Look for thinner skinned boiling potatoes.

Should you peel ’em? It’s really up to you. We’ve made it both ways, and tend to prefer the unpeeled version, but the food police are on vacation so do what pleases you most.

Thinly slice 1 large peeled onion, and add that to the pot. Cover with 6 cups good-quality chicken stock, and toss in 4 to 6 cloves peeled garlic.

Cover with the lid and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. If you want to cook while you’re at work, you can cook on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours instead.

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Towards the end of the cooking time, when the heavenly scent is driving you crazy, test a few of the potatoes. You’ll want them fork tender and falling apart.

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if you have a stick blender, this is the perfect time to use it. You can purée the soup right in the crock. If you don’t have one, simply use your blender or food processor to purée. Remember, though, the soup is still very hot; so use care and caution.

**Stop here if you want to freeze the soup. It will keep beautifully for up to 4 weeks in the freezer.**

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If you’re serving the soup right away, pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend, blend, blend some more until you have a creamy, smooth soup.

Trying to watch calories? You can use half & half, or even 2% milk instead of heavy cream. The higher the fat content, though, the richer your soup will be. I haven’t tried it with dairy-free milks of any kind, but I’m sure soy or light almond would be a fine substitute.

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Serve your soup hot, with some good bread and plenty of different toppings. At our house we liked cheddar cheese and bacon, like a baked potato. At the photo studio we tried sour cream and red pepper flakes. Not a drop was wasted, to be sure!

As you can tell, dear reader, I’m definitely on the hunt for new slow-cooker recipes. Have a favorite you want to share? You can leave your recipe ideas in the comments below, and share the slow cookin’ joy.

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Creamy Potato Garlic Soup.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Skippy

    This potato soup is one of my very favorites. I’ve used both vegetable and chicken broth (depending on if I’m cooking for vegetarians) and both work really well. It’s great to serve with a variety of toppings, so everyone can customize their soup. King Arthur Crusty Italian Bread in a nice addition to the meal. A friend I gave the recipe to added a can of corn & peppers during the last hour In the crock pot- it added both sweetness and a tiny bit of heat, which worked well…so now we have a wonderful potato-corn soup recipe. Winter doesn’t seem so bleak…

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      I’m so glad you love this soup as much as we do. I think I’ll whip up a batch tomorrow. ~ MJ

  2. Valerie Tipton

    I tried your Creamy Potato Garlic Soup yesterday but used Buttermilk instead of heavy cream. I loved the tangy flavor it provided, just like a baked potato. But the good thing is that Buttermilk is so much lower in calories than heavy cream. Thanks for posting the recipe! It will become a new favorite in my house.

    Reply
  3. shan

    My current favorite slow cooker recipes are as follows –
    and I apologize but everything I make is general measurements. I’m a cook from the hip kind of gal.

    Guinness Stew :
    2lbs beef stew meat
    1/2 to 1 bag of baby carrots cut into smaller pieces
    OR 2-3 carrots on mandolin (my favorite way)
    salt and pepper to taste
    several cloves of garlic (4-5 is my usual)
    onion (I cannot stand onion texture, but I will use rehydrated/dehydrated onion flakes for flavor)

    put everything into crock pot, cover with Guinness beer. I usually do 2 bottles +/-
    I know it seems crazy and you’ll want to add water or broth. Stick with me.
    Cook on low for 6-8hrs, then on high for 1-2hrs. you can go low for 8 and it’ll be fine…but I usually crank up crockpot for last hour or so and prop lid up a little bit to thicken sauce.
    Add thickener if needed.

    Pour over mashed potatoes to eat 🙂
    course, it’s so tasty it would be good on a flip flop!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      OH goodness that sounds delicious! My hubby is a Guinness and a stew fan, this is right up his alley. Thanks for sharing! ~ MJ

  4. shannon

    my recipe is nearly identical. Cut potatoes into smallish chunks and cover with broth (I tend to favor beef, but i’ve used chicken and vegtable would work fine too) and add several cloves of garlic. I’m now a huge fan of trader joe’s frozen chopped garlic in little cubes. makes it extra easy.
    Season with salt and the recipe I adapted called for lawrys and i’ve continued to use that as a seasoning.
    The original one I found called for cream cheese but it never mixed in very smooth. I now use sour cream which I consider a household staple.
    I found that I wanted my soup to have some chunks rather than be like watery mashed potatoes, so I use a wire whisk when I see chunks breaking apart and mix/mash until the soup thickens and still has some small chunks. I’m in the staunchly anti skin catagory however 🙂

    Before adding cream of any kind you can freeze it and it does freeze beautifully. Here in texas the potatoes are below subpar, especially compared to northern illinois where I grew up. only fall is when you can find decent non green, non funky potatoes so I try and make several batches when the getting is good and put up soup for later.
    I throw them into ziplocks and freeze flat for easy storage and easy thawing. I usually need to add a bit of liquid to aid in reheating and because it will tighten up a little.

    My kiddos and I enjoy it with bacon and cheese as nature intended, but it would absolutely be wonderful with salsa, broccoli, or any sort of baked potato fixings enjoyed. As a nod to my locale – shredded beef brisket is enjoyed on baked potatoes and would work well on the soup too!

    Since bacon (real bacon) tends to grab his cheese buddies and meander down to the bottom of the bowl causing a person topping/soup imbalances I am now loving what I call a “splate” that I bought at ikea. it’s deeper than a plate, but shallower and wider than a bowl. great for stews and hearty soups like this 🙂

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      “My kiddos and I enjoy it with bacon and cheese as nature intended”- best line ever Shannon! You win the internet today! ~ MJ

  5. Phoebe

    I made this soup today–it’s been cold and nasty here, so it’s perfect potato soup weather! I have a toddler, which doesn’t lend itself well to my mother’s potato soup recipe, as it’s a little bit more time consuming. We like chunky potato soup, so I pulled out a bowl of potato chunks with a slotted spoon before blending the rest of the soup, then added those back with some half-and-half, sour cream, salt, and pepper. It passed the toddler test—so we’re keeping this recipe!

    I would say, I think that if you don’t want potato bits, you could make this even more quickly by just using large chunks of potatoes and onions (I’ll admit I didn’t chop the onion this time, either). I will probably do this next time, and I bet you could even blend in a few veggies to boost the nutritional level (if you are looking for ways to hide veggies in things, that is…I was thinking peas for next time, but don’t tell the toddler or husband!).

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!! I am looking forward to making it again already, and we still have this first batch left.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Woo hooo! I’m giving myself a high five, because passing the toddler test is tough to do. I’m so glad the family liked it. I bet pureeing some broccoli in would be delicious.
      I’m so glad you shared this, it’s making my day even brighter. ~ MJ

  6. Barbara D

    I am a wife of 48 years, and just got my first slow cooker about two years ago, so I’m still collecting recipes. I’m using it quite a bit to cook double or triple batches of things, then either can or freeze the results, and that gives me a break from having to cook every day. I love cooking, but my hands will need reconstructive surgery and I see the surgeon at the end of the month, so I have to get meals made in advance. Bravo to slow cookers to help me out! I love my Cuisinart, which has 4 heat settings, the lowest of which will keep food safely warm for 8 hours after the slow cooking is done, so in case of emergency that might keep one from home, it is a meal saver. I may even get a second one to help me along.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Barbara, I hope someone tells you that you are a genius everyday. In all this time, I’ve never thought to double or triple the recipe ON PURPOSE to have meals for another day. If I’m food prepping, I always start with single batches of several different things, but why not have several batches of the same things?

      Now I can’t wait to clear out the freezer to start making more things! Thanks again. ~ MJ

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