Crockpot Cooking: Start with Soup if you are New to Slow Cooking

The best way to ease yourself into slow cooking with your new crockpot is to start with soups. Soup recipes are easy to follow and the results are always delicious and satisfying – not to mention healthy!

Why You Should Start off by Making Soup in your Crockpot

You slow cooker is capable of making all sorts of yummy and rather impressive dishes, from hearty one-pot casseroles to lasagna, roast dinners, and even cakes and bread! But the likelihood is that you acquired your crockpot to cut out all the fuss of slaving over a stove!

Many of these recipes require food preparation, which can involve browning meat in a frying pan, cooking vegetables on the hob first, mixing dough and getting messy. You don’t have time to do all of that before you set off to work or college, and you certainly can’t be bothered when you get home at night and just want to fall into bed!

Start off by cooking soups and stews instead. It won’t matter how long you leave your dish to cook because the ingredients are not going to burn; and they are often meant to disintegrate and merge into the dish as it is cooking, so you won’t have to worry about getting home or waking up on time to turn the pot off.

There is also very little food prep, usually it is just a matter of chopping ingredients and slinging it all into the pot. In fact to save time you can chop vegetables the night before and leave them in the fridge if you intend to leave your crockpot cooking the following day, that way you can just add everything to the pot in the morning without it interfering too much with your routine.

Why Are Soups So Great?

Making a soup in a slow cooker isn’t rocket science. In fact, most of the time you don’t even need to follow a recipe, you can just get creative. The flavours from each ingredient will intermingle and develop beautifully as they simmer gently for hours and hours, so the result, no matter what you put in the pot, is bound to be delicious and satisfying.

Soups are perfect to serve as starters or to fill a hole on a cold winter evening. A generous bowl of soup or stew served with a nice chunk of crusty bread is ample for a filling and healthy meal at lunchtime or in the evening. Soups can also be kept in the fridge and reheated on the hob, or frozen in containers and defrosted individually in the microwave throughout the month. This means that you can make a large quantity and then save it in portions so that you can enjoy a nice warming bowl of soup when you fancy it, without too much fuss or effort.

Perhaps the best thing about cooking soup in a crockpot is that it is so cheap! You can use any leftover ingredients from a roast meal, like vegetables or bones because they will create a yummy stock in your slow cooker with all the concentrated flavours, so make the most of Sunday roast at your parents’ house by taking home all the leftovers! You can even add noodles, rice or pasta at the end for substance, or to make the soup more filling and go even further.

Tips for Cooking Soup in your Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

  1. If you are cooking a soup with both meat and vegetables, keep in mind that vegetables take longer to cook than meat, so you should finely dice your vegetables, but bear in mind that softer vegetables will disintegrate and become part of the dish, so it depends on whether you want to make a chunky soup or a smoother one.
  1. For a more intense flavor use a good quality chicken or vegetable stock. You can make your own stock in the slow cooker using leftover chicken bones and veg from a roast dinner, or you can just use commercial stock cubes and boiled water.
  1. If you brown your ingredients in a separate pan before adding them to your crockpot your soup will have more flavor and colour
  1. Remember that once the lid is on the crockpot no liquid will escape through condensation, so take this into consideration when adding liquid to the dish at the beginning. You will probably need half the amount of liquid you would normally use when cooking soup the ordinary way. Once the dish has been cooking however, you can always top it up with boiling water at the end if necessary,
  1. Dishes cooked in a crockpot require less seasoning, and it is best to wait until after cooking to add it. This is because the soup retains more of its own concentrated flavours during cooking.
  1. If you are making stock in your crockpot, why not freeze it in ice-cube bags? Then you can use it in smaller quantities when you need to.
  1. You can thicken soups by adding flour or cornflour. Add flour at the start of cooking by tossing it with the meat before browning, or you can mix a little cornflour with water into a paste and stir into the crockpot for the final one and half hours.
  1. Cream, milk and egg yolks as thickening agents should only be stirred in for the final thirty minutes of cooking.

A Simple Tomato Soup Crockpot Recipe to get you Started



  • 25g Butter or Margarine
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, finely diced
  • 2 Celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 4 Streaky bacon rashers, rinded and chopped
  • 700g Tomatoes, skinned
  • 900ml Chicken stock
  • 5ml Caster (superfine) sugar
  • Large pinch of dried mixed herbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat your crockpot on High
  2. Heat the butter/margarine in a frying pan and sauté the onion, carrot, celery and bacon gently for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then transfer to the crockpot.
  4. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours
  5. Stir well before serving, or puree for a smooth consistency.


Extra Cooking Tip: After pureeing, stir in 150ml of double cream and reheat without allowing the soup to boil, for a ‘Cream of Tomato’ soup alternative.

Share Your Crockpot Cooking Experiences…

Let us know how your tomato soup turned out! Or share your own soup recipes with YouQueen readers by leaving your comments below. Do you have any extra tips? Did you try cooking this recipe in a crockpot and then in the normal way? How did they compare?

About the author

Zara M.

I love to write, draw, take photographs, dance tango, write in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook and ogle other people’s Filofaxes. Oh – and I like LOTS of sugar in my tea! I want to inspire you, and show you the world through my eyes.

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