Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup
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Nothing’s quite as wonderful as being able to incorporate CHEESE into a piping hot bowl of homemade soup comfort!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup
One of the cleverest and most useful ingredients for all kinds of hacks in recipes and while cooking is probably something you already have hiding in your cupboard. It’s cornstarch.
In the example of a recipe for cheese soup, shredded cheese is tossed with cornstarch to coat. The cornstarch acts as a stabilizer to keep the fat and proteins in the cheese in check, and prevents the cheese from doing what it would otherwise naturally do…clump together.
Cold afternoons equal hot soup in my world, and nothing’s quite as wonderful as being able to incorporate 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 the purposes of this recipe to be precise…
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 takes mini breaks without having to actually 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. And it serves the purpose of lunch, dinner, and after school snack 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 definitely 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.
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Slow Cooker Cheddar Cheese Soup? Check The List!
chicken stock (homemade if you have some)
a large carrot
a stalk of celery
a small red bell pepper
crushed red pepper or Aleppo pepper
sharp Cheddar cheese
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. Among 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 awesome bowl of soup, or have add-ins such as slightly smashed 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 as is, 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 it’s true that soup season is already upon us, it seemed fitting to to get this type of grub posted asap.
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 phase 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 in parts to assure the cheese is creamy and melts fully, and that the overall consistency of the soup is thick and rich. Your biggest 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, and number of soups can be had from this base if you felt 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 fave, loaded slow cooker broccoli potato cheese soup with bacon, extra shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
How Long Does Easy Cheddar Cheese Soup Take To Make?
Much of this method specifies for you to run your slow cooker on High. That said, and because it employs the use of the slow cooker, this recipe still requires just about four hours.
What To Serve With Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?
So, I’m a carb-o-holic. Just a fact, so I’m going to always recommend a homemade loaf of bread like my buttermilk white, or a batch of cheesy garlic butter biscuits.
But if you plan to serve this soup in individual bread bowls to your eaters, a second starch is probably null. In this case, pair perhaps with a nice slice of quiche or offer up a tantalizing fruit parfait.
What To Drink With Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?
Right outta the gate, ANY type of extra hoppy beer is going to compliment this soup. Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale is a California brew that is REALLY 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??)
How To Store Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup?
Once cooked and slightly cooled, I portion this soup into refrigerator/freezer lidded containers. It’s easier for storing, and I can pull exactly what I need for when the cheese soup notion strikes. Generally, the portion increments are 1 1/2 cups per container.
Refrigerated, Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup keeps for three days before it must be consumed or frozen. To re-heat, add to a non-stick saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed through.
Can This Recipe For Cheddar Cheese Soup Be Frozen?
So, of course ‘yes’ to this question given my elongated answer just above. And frozen, Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup keeps for up to three months. To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight. To re-heat, add to a non-stick saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed through.
Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup
- a 6-quart or larger slow cooker
- kitchen emulsifier or blender
- 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
- scallions chopped
- bacon cooked and chopped
- 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.
If You Like This Recipe…
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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!