Every potato soup recipe has its own personality. What goes into your soup pot can be lush and showy (enriched with bacon grease and clam juice, perhaps) or lean and minimal (garlic and eggs, anyone?). It can be thick, thin, creamy, stewy, chunky, cheesy. What it cannot be is boring. Made with a high onion-to-potato ratio, this chop-and-drop recipe is light, tastes intensely of potato, and has just enough dairy to feel opulent but not oppressive. We’re talking one of those easy recipes with barely any prep time and a total time of under an hour! It’s the bowl of soup you’ll want on repeat all winter long.
Use russet potatoes for a light-colored soup reminiscent of baked potatoes, or switch to Yukon Golds for a buttery yellow version that tastes faintly nutty—and a bit like your favorite mashed potatoes. Choose spuds with no visible green spots and scrub the skin well since you’ll be using them unpeeled. Skip the cute baby potatoes; the ratio of skin to flesh is a bit skewed, and the soup won’t taste quite right (and please no red potatoes or sweet potatoes here). The soup is best left slightly chunky, with bits of skin and flesh so it’s less baby food goop and more sophisticated dinner. Do not use a blender to purée the soup—it will turn gluey, and no one deserves that. An immersion blender is best here, a food processor a close second, and a vigorous smashing with a potato masher could be an acceptable alternative. The direction to use slices, instead of diced chunks, means you’ll have an easier time of it.
Sour cream adds the richness usually supplied by heavy cream, but it also gives this soup tang and body, and chicken stock or broth adds flavor without weighing it down.
Want to know how to make potato soup really sing? Toppings. For a fresh, zippy garnish, we like a mix of green onions, pickled jalapeños, and fresh dill. For fully loaded baked potato soup vibes, add in some crispy bacon, grated sharp cheddar cheese, trimmed chives, a sprinkle of cayenne, and another dollop of sour cream. Serve as a main course with a fresh salad and a good crusty loaf and call it a night. Save any leftovers in an airtight container.
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Mix 2 lb. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 large), scrubbed, thinly sliced, 1 lb. white onions (about 2 medium), thinly sliced, 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, 1 tsp. dried thyme, and 1 cup water in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as need to keep vegetables from browning, until onions are very tender and translucent, 12–18 minutes.
Add 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth to pot, re-cover, and cook until potatoes are tender and falling apart, 12–18 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup sour cream.
Using an immersion blender, blend soup in pot until mostly smooth; you want some small lumps and pieces of skin. (Alternatively, you can purée soup, in batches in a food processor, transferring to a medium bowl as you go. Return soup to pot before proceeding.)
Stir 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar and ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper into soup and reheat over medium, stirring often, until hot but not bubbling (boiling might curdle the soup). Taste and season with more salt and/or pepper if desired.
Ladle soup among bowls. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and scatter scallions, pickled jalapeños, and dill over. Drizzle with oil.
Do ahead: Soup (without toppings) can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat soup over medium-low, adding a splash or so of water to thin as needed. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
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I made this per the recipe, but agree with another reviewer that, while easy, it was sort of bland and watery. If I make it again, will probably use more potatoes and add bacon or ham to give it more flavor
I made mine by blending in a thin white sauce (butter, flour, and a little chicken broth) plus a quart of whole milk, once vegetables were ready, then puréed some of it. At the end I added a tablespoon of ham-based Better Than Bouillon. I scattered a good bunch of canned fried onions on top. I like it both ways.
New York City
I changed this up a tad, really an easy top notch soup. Instead of stock I used epic savory chicken bone broth. 3lbs of potatoes and added a cup of halfnhalf with the sour cream. Needed a little cayenne and like a half teaspoon of pepper flakes. I strongly suggest garnishing with chives, scallions, dill, and the pickled jalapeños.
This was easy enough to make, but it missed the mark for me. It is definitely lighter than your average potato soup (without milk or cream), but the consistency was off - like watery mashed potatoes. It's okay, but I won't make it again.
This was surprisingly easy to make, so long as you have an immersion blender (and if you don't, go get one, really, they are worth it). I wouldn't change a thing, although I think there's room for personal creativity with toppings. Crumbled bacon certainly seems like an obvious idea, but jalapeños that are grilled vs. pickled would also be good. We added some red pepper flakes to ours for color and that was also good. Yep, would make it again.
Virginia the Flute