I don’t think it’d be a stretch to call this soup the ultimate comfort food. When it’s a rainy and cold fall day, I’m chilled to the bone, and no matter how many layers I put on, I’m still freezing—this is the soup I want to eat for dinner. In fact, I wouldn’t be mad if my dinners just rotated between this soup and Taco Chili for the rest of fall and winter.
This soup isn’t going to win any gourmet cooking awards. This is a workhorse soup—it honestly isn’t even that pretty. It probably isn’t the kind of thing you want to serve when your in-laws are in town and you want to impress them with your superior kitchen skills.
But it is the kind of soup you’ll want to have in your weekly dinner rotation November through February because it is easy enough for a weeknight dinner, simple enough to use mostly pantry items, and tasty enough that your entire family will gobble it up without complaint.
In general, I prefer slow cooker recipes that don’t have a lot of prep to them. Who has time to devote an extra half hour to putting something in the slow cooker before they head off to work for the day? But this is a case where I recommend a bit of prep time. You can definitely do this recipe without the prep (check the notes section of the recipe for tips on how to do that), but I think a little bit of prep time goes a long way to help the flavor of the soup.
Browning off the ground beef before it goes into the slow cooker really helps give it that grilled cheeseburger flavor. It’s worth it to carve out 20 minutes or so before the kids get up to get this in the slow cooker—or do all the prep the night before and just stash the removable crock of you slow cooker in the fridge. And if you don’t have a slow cooker with a removable crock (this is mine), it’s time to upgrade. Seriously. You’ll wonder how you got by without one before.
There are lots of slow cooker cheeseburger potato soup recipes out there (go ahead, Google it, I’ll wait). And many of them use highly processed ingredients like cream of whatever soups and processed cheese. I tried to make my version more simple by using whole food ingredients that we usually have on hand in our kitchen.
Real cream. Real cheddar cheese. Real chicken broth. This makes the soup not even close to a low-calorie dish, but I do think it makes it a healthier and tastier dish. Of course, that’s just my opinion—everyone has their own definition of health. If you prefer to (or need to because of lack of availability or resources) make a different choice for your family, I totally get it. I’d love to hear how the recipe turns out with substitutions in the comments (actually, I’d always love to hear how tweaks and substitutions turn out—leaving your experience in the comments really helps me become a better recipe developer and other readers have more success with their dishes).
If you aren’t afraid of a good carb-heavy dinner, I’d serve this Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Potato Soup up with some fresh bread alongside (breadsticks or focaccia would be wonderful), and then a nice green side salad to balance out all the starch. And then invite me over, because YUM. Enjoy.