Did you know you can make soup in a slow cooker?
Almost any soup can be made in a slow cooker, with soups containing root vegetables and meats that require long slow cooking times working the best.
Although a slow cooker soup is similar to a conventional pot on the stove recipe, the process does differ.
Follow these tips and you’ll soon be cooking all your favourite soups in a slow cooker!
Related: Slow Cooker Recipes
What You Need
- Slow cooker – you can use any type or size of slow cooker
- Stick blender or jug blender – if you will be making some smooth soups
- Ingredients – this will obviously depend on the soup you are making, but as a rough guide; aromatics (onion, garlic etc), vegetables, meat (optional), beans, pulses, herbs, spices, stock
- Stock – either from cubes, stock pots, fresh or homemade vegetable stock
How To Make Slow Cooker Soup – Step By Step
- Prepare the ingredients
- Add any root vegetables first, followed by meat (if using), herbs and spices, aromatics, stock. Save dairy until the end.
- Switch slow cooker on – low is preferred for a more flavoursome soup, but high is fine to use if you are short on time.
- Thicken soup if required
- Serve soup with optional garnishes – croutons, a swirl of cream, fresh herbs, nuts and seeds
Preparing the ingredients
Try to cut any root vegetables and meat into similar sizes to ensure they cook evenly and are ready at the same time. Differently sized ingredients might equal a soup that is not cooked all the way through.
This doesn’t apply to aromatic ingredients such as onion and garlic, or softer vegetables such as peppers, peas and greens.
Aromatics will cook more quickly than other ingredients – and this is ok, it means they will release more of their flavours and enhance the taste of the rest of the soup.
Like with other recipes, browning the meat before adding it to the slow cooker is not compulsory, but it will add some extra flavour to the finished soup.
Add any root vegetables first followed by any meat, herbs and spices, then the stock.
How Much Water Do I Put In A Slow Cooker For Soup?
Add in any stock or liquid, pouring it so that it just about covers the ingredients. A slow cooker soup will require much less liquid than when it is made in a pot on the stove. The ingredients will release quite a lot of liquid during the cooking time and as the lid will be on the slow cooker throughout, it won’t be able to evaporate.
Should I Add Hot Or Cold Stock?
You can add either, but the hot stock will heat everything up faster and reduce the cooking time.
When Should I Add Any Dairy Products?
Don’t add any milk, cream or cheese until closer to the end of the cooking time. You can add it either 20 minutes before the end or, just stir it in at the end of the cooking time. If you add it at the beginning it might curdle.
How Long Does Slow Cooker Soup Take To Cook?
Most meat-based soups in the slow cooker should be ready in 3 to 4 hours on high and 6 to 8 hours on low.
For soups that only include vegetables the cooking time will be less, about 2 to 4 hours on low and 1 to 2 hours on high.
If you have the time, choose the longer cooking time on a lower heat. The ingredients will have more time to release their flavours and enhance the taste of the soup.
How To Thicken A Slow Cooker Soup
Sometimes it can be hard to judge how much liquid a soup cooked in a slow cooker should have. If you end up with a soup that is too watery and thin in consistency you can thicken it up by;
- Leaving the lid off for 30 minutes with the slow cooker on low – this will allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
- Stirring in a little cornflour slurry (mix 1tsp of cornflour in 1tsp of water).
How Long Does Slow Cooker Soup Last For?
The great thing about cooking in a slow cooker is you can make more than you need to eat at the time. If you have enough leftover soup it should last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.