Dust off that slow-cooker. Here’s 30 glossy, warming crockpot soups that’ll help you stave off the winter chill a while longer.
We’ve waxed poetic about our slow-cooker before.
It’s the perfect vehicle for braises, stews, soups and dessert (fresh cinnamon buns, anyone?) — but using one can quickly become an exercise in disappointment if you don’t know and understand what it can and cannot do.
Grasp your crockpot’s limitations, respect them and you’re golden.
Throw everything in a pot and walk away for eight hours and you’ll probably be coming back to something that smells divine but tastes vaguely of boot leather.
Long, slow cooking softens flavors and this, coupled with the fact that there’s no evaporation going on, means you’re running the risk of ending up with a gloopy, flavorless mess on your hands (and loads of angry washing up to do).
To that end, you want to be sure you’re building on those foundational flavors and brightening with strong spices, herbs and acid.
Choose your recipes wisely and peer inside every so often — you’ll be handsomely rewarded for your attention to
From beer and cheese soup to creamy tortellini and even buffalo chicken chili (if you’re on the lookout for something scorching-ly good, #5 is it), here are our picks for the best crockpot soups out there!
Every element of this velvety Panera classic is attuned to our very souls.
Warm, well-spiced and unapologetically simple — amid some very strong seasonal competition, this wins out every time.
Enliven it with a handful of garlick-y croutons or a spoon of olive tapenade garnish.
Heartening and humble — we get the feeling a Neanderthal would quite like this.
A warm bowl of this is always the answer; shake in a little soy to taste and serve alongside crusty, butter-sodden bread.
One of our favorite soups, both for its modest ingredients list and its particular knack for thawing us right out.
This one has a dark, rustic broth, rich with root veg like carrots and parsnips.
Chicken and farro taste as warm and familiar as sitting by the hearth with a favorite book — perfect for mopey, sniveling sick days, too.
This is somewhere between pie and soup and accordingly, it’s probably one of the best recipes ever to exist — the ultimate winter comfort food.
Fry mushrooms and finely crushed garlic in butter until soft and browned, then pile on a piece of thick toast and serve with the soup.
There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned “Napalm Chili” — but admittedly, there are days when we’re after something a little less intense.
This wholesome, smoky chicken stew is just the thing.
Serve it alongside some glorious, golden cornbread for a meal that’ll please all at the table (and stick to your guts long after you’ve licked your fingers clean).
Another excuse — as though one were needed — to plunk pasta in our soup.
If you can’t find orzo, any itty-bitty pasta shape – the smaller the better — works: try puntine (push pins), stelle (little piths) or risoni (akin to orzo, but tinier).
I was raised with pastina — tiny stars of pasta — but I can’t find it anywhere these days.
Anyone have a hookup on some pastina? This would go great as well.
A brilliant, homespun chowder that’s both simple and luxurious.
You don’t have to mess with this time-honored classic — a sleeve of crackers is all it’ll take to make it shine.
A good chicken soup can — in addition to giving your cold the boot — soothe all ills and grant you eternal life.
Of course the elixir of immortality is good soup served at the table with loved ones; what’d you think it was?
Lemon zest lends a lovely zing and sparkle, but a spoonful of chile oil would also be very welcome!
“I just hate enchiladas,” said no one ever.
This rich, smooth and thick soup may not be quintessentially Mexican — but we don’t anticipate any complaining.
Every hot mouthful invites a little tingle of pleasure; there’s big, boastful flavors at play here and they’re good.
A stack of nutty blue corn tortillas will pair wonderfully alongside.
Lunching at the local French bistro, we watched in envy as the woman at the table over devoured a gooey, rich gratinée soupe à l’oignon.
Broth sloshed onto her scarf, cheese made every attempt to escape the bowl — but she prevailed in slurping up every last spoonful.
We picked resentfully at our glad rags.
Neither of us dared to venture in so far as to suggest napkin bibs, but in that instant we resolved we’d make a French onion soup for dinner that night; one so formidable we’d never think about our sad evening at the bistro again.
This is that soup.
Chicken soup is quite possibly the most pleasurable thing one can cook — bearing through a cold snap, drifts of snow piled at our door — only a rich, fragrant soup could see us through it all, put together in a snap.
This is an easy, reliable method to produce a properly restorative bowl of gloriously golden chicken soup.
Nothing mysterious in this recipe: carrots, potatoes, onions, bay leaf, chicken thighs and chicken broth come together fast.
Bacon is sorely undervalued as a soup ingredient.
Don’t get us wrong — we love a pillow-y soft BLT at any time of day — but the next time you’re frying up a few rashers of pork with the intent of making yourself a sandwich, spare a thought for this humble, warming soup.
We can’t vouch for the detoxifying claims of this soup — but it is good — as is to be expected of anything with a gooey, bubbling parmesan crust.
An assertive red wine would be delicious alongside.
As we shiver and hack our way through another blisteringly-dry, abominably-windy Southern winter — the more we ponder — why?
Why not throw in the proverbial towel, put all our belongings on Craigslist and hightail it someplace tropical?
Blend this into fully smooth broccoli cheddar or keep the colorful chunks intact. It’s up to you.
Ever fancied getting drunk on a stew?
Well, you can’t (at least not yet — though we suspect there’s a student cookbook out there with some interesting ideas) but this redolent beer and cheese stew might get you some of the way there.
Here are even more cozy fall soups to choose from.
Here we’ve provided a very simple (but hearty, warming and sweet) squash soup in the hopes that you’ll tinker with the recipe and make it your very own.
We’ve handed you the brush; think of yourself as being a culinary Picasso, but with rather more edible results, yes?
And never was there such a good idea as this one.
The first steaming mouthful of this will send you leaping out of your chair, exclaiming, “It tastes like pizza! But it’s soup.”
Rejoice. Rejoice in the name of slow cooker soups.
If you’re anything like us, you’re always on the lookout for more ways to elevate supermarket tortellini with next to no work at all.
Sprinkle with a little sage butter and feta to serve — buon appetito!
The mere idea of pea soup used to make us want to sweep our plates to the floor in a rage when we were children.
“Was there ever anything so completely devoid of appeal as a pea soup?” We’d mutter, when friends defended it.
“It’s sick-ward food. It bears more than a passing resemblance to snot. It tastes vaguely of hand-wash — if it can be said to taste of anything at all.”
Until we tried this.
It does, on occasion, pay to be wrong.
The mild-mannered potato really benefits from the porky sprightliness of the ham in this recipe.
Serve with a lick of hot sauce and fluffy, well-buttered bread.
Crockpot soup recipes don’t get much easier.
We spent many a hungover morning at college (O.K., fine, last week) stumbling ‘round the quad with a greasy McDonald’s bag full of paper-wrapped hash-browns.
Those are still our favorite — eaten furtively in the drive-thru while they’re still hot and fluffy, burning our fingers as we go — there’s no better way to spend a Saturday morning.
This savory, rich soup is a close second.
Garnish with a handful of crispy, fried bacon bits to serve.
The sun is shining, the sky is clear, the birds are singing their glorious song — and our soup’s done.
Oh, happy day.
An obligingly thrifty stew, this is a great way to use up those odds and ends of sausage you might otherwise have tossed, alongside whatever browning vegetables you’re eager to be rid of.
It is a bit like the Zuppa Toscana above but it uses sliced sausage instead of crumbled.
Like other thick soups, this’ll benefit from a rest before it’s eaten; let it sit for 10 minutes and then finish with a generous crackle of black pepper to serve.
Crumbly, collapsing potato, tender, redolent meat and velvety carrots inside an aromatic broth that’ll have your neighbors sniffing around your front door — this is one you’ll want to make over and over again.
Or one you’ll be compelled to make over and over again, since anyone that gets a taste is invariably going to want more.
A gorgeous mélange of bold, rich flavors — it’s seldom you’ll come across a stew of which the word “razamatazz” is befitting, but it’s undeniable; this has razmatazz.
Not in excess, of course, but enough.
Happily, you can toss whatever vegetables you’d like in here: the more recalcitrant, the better.
Soups in the crockpot don’t get a whole lot better than this!
A perfect synthesis of autumnal flavors — this is the culinary equivalent of your favourite winter slippers — not, perhaps, the most fashionable, but imperative in braving the chill nonetheless.
When the snow really begins to pile on, we start wishing we had this on tap (O.K, no, ew, but you get the idea).
Barbecues are back! No, they aren’t! And they won’t be for a while!
Now back away from the grill. Slowly.
Take that apron off, too, and stop waving those tongs about lest your neighbors think the prolonged cold has sent you quite off your rocker.
But you don’t let a little snow stop you from enjoying the pleasures of the barbeque — in fact, it might even compound them.
Case in point: this cheeseburger soup.
Genuinely, obscenely good.
A lively, vibrant stew in a rustic broth that uses a hint of Lea & Perrins.
The trick is the addition of a little chili oil — you don’t want this to burn, but you do want to feel its heat unfurling in your chest like so much liquid sunlight.
Perhaps you’ve got a treasured family recipe for the perfect pasta e fagioli, rich with beans and pasta, passed down from nonna to nonna — in which case, what’re you reading this for and also, we’re incredibly jealous.
But in case you haven’t, Alyssa over at The Recipe Critic has been kind enough to share hers.
We hope you like it; we hope your grandma likes it even more.
A more than fitting sendoff for those leftover beans from last week’s Taco Tuesday, this rich, brilliant stew is at once adaptable, nutritious and cheap — it’s sure to be a staple in your repertoire of easy slow cooker soup recipes before long.
The bottom line
What we need — what we all need — is more soup.
That’s a universal truth if there ever was one, like: fuzzy socks far outrank every other category of sock and that you should always add more garlic than you think you need.
But (and dare we say it?) there is such a thing as too much of the same sort of soup.
French onion and chicken noodle, we’re looking at you, though this is a problem that’s doubtless been compounded by the ubiquity of canned soup.
Here’s another universal truth: whenever possible, make your own soup.
The tinned stuff’s not bad and granted, it’s got its moments, but it doesn’t hold a candle to what you can do with a little patience, some broth and a crockpot.
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- Visit these links to incredible soup recipes!
- Choose one or two to add to your meal rotation.
- Let us know your favorites!