Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup

Recipe Pin
4 hours 5 minutes
8 servings

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My definition of convenience is a largely hands-off crock pot recipe! This Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup method is discreetly pureed with bunches of healthy vegetables and is ready in just under 4 hours!

a crock of soup, with a spoon

Cold afternoons equal hot soup in my world and nothing’s quite as remarkable as incorporating my favorite ingredient into a piping-hot bowl of comfort. And if you’re wondering what that favorite ingredient is, it’s CHEESE! Sharp Cheddar for this recipe, to be precise…

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How Do I Add Cheese to Soup Without It Clumping?

One of the cleverest and most valuable ingredients for all kinds of hacks in recipes and while cooking is probably something you already have hiding in your cupboard. Cornstarch!

a crock of soup, with a spoon

During the frenzy in our kitchen that is ‘holiday baking ground zero,’ I traditionally set the crock pot up the eve before the big bake-off to start a slow soup. This way, I can take mini breaks without having to stop and fix a meal to keep me going.

Soup recipes are something I happen to have A LOT of. For me, soup is comfort food done right. It serves the purpose of lunch, dinner, and after-school snacks, no matter when I have a pot simmering.

The soup I’m sharing today comes from our friends at Southern Living Magazine. My Mom made it a few weeks ago, and it was worth sharing from spoonful number one.

So, grab your whisk and some high-quality chicken broth (it’s great if you have some homemade chicken stock frozen), and let’s get on with this method for an edgy, sharp Cheddar cheese soup.

What To Serve with Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?

I will always urge you to make and bake at home as much as possible, including baking my recipe for homemade buttermilk bread. Honest ingredients, no preservatives. Instead of bread, bake a quicker carb using my recipe for drop biscuits with garlic butter.

But a second starch is probably null if you plan to serve this soup in individual bread bowls to your eaters. In this case, pair perhaps with a wedge of my recipe for quiche with spinach or offer up a tangy apple fruit salad with mayonnaise.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Cheddar Cheese Soup

  • chicken stock (homemade if you have some)
  • sweet onion
  • a large carrot
  • a stalk of celery
  • a small red bell pepper
  • unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper or Aleppo pepper
  • sharp Cheddar cheese
  • cream cheese
  • whole milk
  • cornstarch
  • croutons and chopped scallions for serving

How This Recipe Came About…

The recipe developers over at Southern Living have been cranking out classics for decades. My favorites from their soup and chowder tomes are broccoli cheddar soup and a slow-cooker cheesy potato soup.

After having tried their recipe for Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup, I realize that this method could fly solo in terms of an excellent bowl of soup or have add-ins such as slightly mashed potatoes, broccoli, cooked tortellini, cooked orzo, chopped cooked bacon, green onions…the possibilities are limited only by our imaginations. That’s right, it makes a great soup or a great base to springboard off from.

I considered assembling a slow cooker broccoli cheese soup recipe for Not Entirely Average this time last year but never did find the time. And since soup season is already upon us, it seemed fitting to get this type of grub posted ASAP.

a crock of soup, with a spoon

How To Make Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?

If I failed to mention “slow cooker,” then I did you a disservice because this bad boy all gets achieved in the miracle of all miracle kitchen inventions: your crock pot. You’ll need a 6-quart or larger slow cooker for this soup.

The vegetables and aromatics are the first phases of this recipe. They go into the cooker along with the stock for three hours. Beyond that, I toss my freshly shredded Cheddar with a teaspoon of cornstarch and allow that cheese and the cream cheese to soften to room temperature on the counter while the vegetables have their go.

The remaining ingredients are whisked in parts to ensure the cheese is creamy and melts fully and that the overall consistency of the soup is thick and rich. Your most significant decision will be to go bread bowl or soup crock for serving. SERIOUSLY!

Can I Use a Combination of Cheeses in This Recipe?

I don’t see why not. That said, I’ve not gone any other route but sharp Cheddar cheese for this soup. Thinking about it, I could see a combination of white and yellow Cheddars and German Butterkäse or even shredded Manchego.

Modifying The Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average…

As I referenced earlier, several soups can be had from this base if you feel the need to make things not entirely average. From this (and likely other) crockpot cheese soup recipes may come slow cooker broccoli Cheddar soup, slow cooker cheesy potato soup, slow cooker cheesy tortellini soup, or my personal favorite, loaded slow cooker broccoli potato cheese soup with bacon, extra shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

a crock of soup, with a spoon

How Long Does Easy Cheddar Cheese Soup Take to Make?

Much of this method allows you to run your slow cooker on High. That said, and because it employs the slow cooker, this recipe still requires just about four hours.

a crock of soup, with a spoon

What To Drink with Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?

Right out of the gate, ANY type of extra hoppy beer will compliment this soup. Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale is a California brew that is hard to beat. Lucky for us all, it’s easy to find as it’s caught on in a big way.

Another hoppy brew I have tried with this soup and am fond of is Samuel Adams Latitude 48. Now, this is an interesting experiment in brewing right here as Latitude 48 employs hops varietals from Germany, England, and America. If you have yet to pop a top on this and you’re somebody who appreciates a serious India pale ale, do yourself a favor and try it.

In terms of wine, head directly to a Beaujolais or a Chianti. Do not pass ‘GO’ and do not collect $200. (Hey, I’m from Jersey, so who would I be without a nod to the Monopoly board??)

a crock of soup, with a spoon

How To Store Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?

Once cooked and slightly cooled, I portion this soup into refrigerator/freezer-lidded containers. It’s easier to store, and I can pull precisely what I need when the cheese soup notion strikes. Generally, the portion increments are 1 1/2 cups per container.

Refrigerated, Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup lasts three days before it must be consumed or frozen. To reheat, add to a non-stick saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed.

Can This Recipe for Cheddar Cheese Soup Be Frozen?

So, of course, ‘yes’ to this question, given my elongated answer just above. Frozen, Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup keeps for up to three months. To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight. To reheat, add to a non-stick saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed.

featured image for Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup

Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup

Jenny DeRemer
Nothing's quite as wonderful as being able to incorporate CHEESE into a piping hot bowl of homemade soup comfort!
5 from 2 votes
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8 servings
Calories 321 kcal

Equipment

  • a 6-quart or larger slow cooker
  • kitchen emulsifier or blender

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups sweet onion rough chopped
  • ½ cup carrot rough chopped
  • ½ cup celery rough chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper rough chopped
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper or Aleppo pepper or more to taste
  • 3 cups sharp Cheddar cheese grated from a block
  • 1 (8) ounce package cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk divided
  • ¼ cup cornstarch divided

optional

  • croutons
  • scallions chopped
  • bacon cooked and chopped

Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken stock, onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, butter, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until vegetables are tender, about 3 hours.
  • Using a hand blender/kitchen emulsifier or blender, pulse the mixture to break up the tender vegetables. If using a blender, use a ladle to spoon the vegetables into the blender with a bit of liquid. This way, the majority is processed, however they may still be some larger pieces which is fine.
  • Whisk Cheddar cheese with 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. Cream the cream cheese and 1 cup of the milk. At the same time, add both the cheese and the cream cheese milk mixture in to the slow cooker. Whisk to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH until cheese is melted and smooth, whisking occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  • Whisk together the remaining cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup milk in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk into soup in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Portion into serving bowls or serve in bread bowls. Garnish with croutons, bacon, scallions, or a combination.

Notes

Make Ahead and refrigerate soup in the insert with the lid for three days. To reheat, add to a non-stick saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed.
To Freeze portion soup into freezer-safe lidded containers and freeze for up to three months. To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight. To reheat, add to a non-stick saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 15gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 898mgPotassium: 306mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1008IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 366mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Cheddar soup used to be a favorite. Then I forgot all about it until now. Thanks for the recipe and the nudge to my inbox!5 stars

    1. Bernadette, you must make this steamy bowl of bliss given your fondness for it. I personally love this recipe because, on weekends when we have so much jammed in, all but time required to make meals, this comes in handy given the crock pot convenience of it all! Jenny

  2. Cheddar and slow cooker – two of my favorite things! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – Hope you have a fabulous week!

  3. Slow cooker and cheddar in the same sentence? I’m in!!! Thanks so much for sharing at the Lazy Gastronome’s What’s for Dinner party! Have a fabulous weekend and hope to see you on Sunday!