Potato Soup

by Cookie

I don’t know how about you guys, but I’m crazy about soups. About all of them, clear chicken noodle soup in late afternoons, hearty and consistent potato or pumpkin soups for the cold evenings, or the refreshing, and a little sour tomato or gazpacho cold soups in hot summer days. 

Soups can be everyones’ best friends, they fit every taste and food preferences. There’s a soup for everyone. Vegetarians can be delighted by so many combinations of fresh vegetables. These soups can be enriched with sour cream or heavy cream for an even more fine consistency. Those who can’t imagine their lives without a meaty meal can always have a great bowl of chicken, beef, pork, turkey soup. And of course, there are fish soups and the more “exotic” seafood soups for gourmands. Did I mention that soups can be everyones’ best friends?

The great part about soups is that most of them are prepared easily and time-savingly. So is the case of the soup I’m sharing with you today, one of my all-time favorite – the scandalicious potato soup. This is one of those easy soups you can say a little goes a long way.  Enough with talking, it’s time for the real deal. 

The ingredients for potato soup you’ll need are few and basic. So as the name suggests, you’ll need potatoes as a first thing. Yukon gold potatoes are the best options, but russets or red potatoes are also an option. A big NO goes to sweet potatoes, you don’t want that for your potato soup, believe me. Yellow onion, celery and garlic go hand in hand and are a must. Water or chicken stock so it can actually be a soup. A couple of tbs of olive oil and 2 small cubes of unsalted butter to have vegetables stirred. Heavy cream, because it just makes it so damn good. Don’t tolerate lactose? Leave it out. Vegetarian? Leave it out. It will turn out delicious either way, with or without heavy cream! You have my word on that! 

Moving forward – the omni-present salt and pepper. I would go for sea salt and a combination of black, red and green pepper. Missing that in your kitchen? Regular salt and pepper will do just fine, however, you might want to buy it. You know as they say, perfection hides in details, this is that detail in your kitchen that might make a difference in your plate.

I decided to take my soup to another level, I like to think it that way:) So I added a few mushrooms to it. Yep, if you like mushrooms, this potato – mushroom combo will blow your mind. Man, I’m getting way too emotional about this soup!

Now, what you need out of utensils are just a big soup pot and a hand mixer or a hand blender. Any of the 2 will do great. The hand mixer will leave out small lumps of potatoes. If you like it creamy and soft, best option is choosing the hand blender.
Here’s a great tip for using the hand blender.  First dip it in the pot till you reach the bottom, then press start. When you’re done blending, first turn off the blender, only after that pull it out the pot. This way you avoid splashing potato soup all over your kitchen area.  I know how it works, I learned it the hard way:) 

HOW TO MAKE POTATO SOUP

As mentioned above, this soup is easy to make but so tasty to eat. Let’s start with the obvious. 

First, you shall peel potatoes, onion, and garlic. You can go the traditional way, choosing a well-sharpened knife to peel the potato skin, or, as I like doing, opting for the simplified method, use my peeler. Yep, no matter how many years of cooking experience you have on your shoulders, a peeler will always do it better. And I don’t even mind that 🙂 

There’s a well-known trick on how to easily peel off the garlic cloves, and if you still haven’t heard about it, I’d be glad to share it with you in premiere. Here we go. Place the garlic cloves on the table or on a cutting board, put the knife on broad side and press with the heal of your palm until garlic crushes. Then just take off the cloves. Now the garlic has released its aroma and is ready to be used for whatever your intention was. 

 

If you consider using mushrooms in your potato soup like I did, now it’s about time to wash them. Here’s a little tip: DON’T keep the mushrooms in water! Wash them under running water and set aside. The porous texture of the mushrooms will absorb water that will later be released in the pan – absolutely unnecessary thing. Also, if mushrooms are not fresh, or you know you’ve kept them in the fridge for a couple of days, separating the stem from the cup would be a great idea. Just throw out the stem. You don’t need it because it gets rigid when not fresh. 

  • Heat the pan with olive oil and butter (at your own preference).
  • In the meantime, dice potatoes and chop the onion, celery and garlic.
  • When done, throw it all in the hot pan with olive oil and butter.
  • Add salt and pepper at your own taste.
  • Cover pan and keep the ingredients on medium low temperature for about 5 mins. Stir occasionally.
  • Add a cup of water or broth and leave it to boil for about 15 min. Check if potatoes are soft, that’s what we’re looking for.
  • Chop the mushrooms and stir them in a different pot in 2 tbsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  • When potatoes are soft and the mushrooms stirred, combine everything in one single pan.
  • It is the right time to add 1 cup of heavy cream to the mixture. Turn off the stove. Do not boil the soup after you add dairy, otherwise it may clomp.
  • Blend everything with your hand blender. Blend for about 60-90 seconds. Don’t forget about the blending technique I’ve mentioned above to keep your kitchen clean.

Now you’ve reached the finish line. You can now taste your manopera for salt and pepper. Et Voilà! 

WHAT TO SERVE WITH POTATO SOUP

You can serve your bowl of potato soup with different toppings. I opted for a few stirred mushrooms, it makes it so elegant. If you are a bacon lover, fry some bacon and add it on top of your creamy soup. Fried onion is also a good choice, simplicity is always a good idea.

If you’re wondering what goes with potato soup, then croutons are the answer. This is such a rich and hearty soup that it doesn’t actually need any extra side dishes. 

Don’t wanna be sassy, but home-made croutons can never be compared with any croutons from the store. Here you can find my recipe of homemade croutons made with fresh garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. Freshly out of the over homemade croutons, crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, will bedazzle your senses. No kiddin’. 

Parmesan, certo che si! Potato and cheese are made for each other, they’re like Bonnie and Clyde. Any potato dish gets an elegant flavor and aspect with parmesan on top. If the Italian buddy is too pronounced for your taste, cheddar American cheese will successfully replace it.  

HOW TO THICKEN POTATO SOUP

Although potato soup is easy to make, it may come out too thin if you add too much stock or water to it. The best potato soup is also about the right consistency. That means it has to be creamy, not watery. Luckily, there are a few ways we can fix that. The proportions below are indicated to thicken about one quart of soup (approx. 1liter). Here’s what you can do:

  • Roux. Mixture of fat (butter, olive oil, pork or chicken dripping) and flour. Heat a skillet and melt 2 tbsp of butter in it. Add 2 tbsp of flour and use a whisk to constantly stir until it the mixture is perfectly blended and light golden. Mix well till no lumps can be seen in it. Usually, it takes about 5 minutes to get the desired texture. When done, add the buttery-floury mixture to the soup and stir again. It shall turn out perfect. 

Here’s a tip: Use the lowest heat of your stove for this mixture of fat and flour. You don’t want to burn the flour, you don’t want a burnt smell in your plate. 

  • Cornstarch. The combination of cornstarch and water is of great help when you need to thicken something up. Whisk 2 tbsp of cornstarch in 14 cup of cool water. Continuously mix until starch is completely dissolved. Pour mixture into the soup and bring it to a boil for about 2 minutes so that everything blends well. Check for the consistency you need and turn off the stove. 

Here’s a tip: Always use cold water to dissolve starch. Cold mixture of starch will not clump when poured into hot soup (liquid) later.

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Potato Soup

The great part about soups is that most of them are prepared easily and time-savingly. So is the case of the soup I'm sharing with you today, one of my all time favorite - the scandalicious potato soup. This is one of those easy soups you can say a little goes a long way.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best potato soup recipe, how to prepare potato soup, potato soup
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 514kcal
Author: Cookie

Equipment

  • soup pot
  • hand blender
  • rubber spatula
  • skillet (to sotè the mushrooms)

Ingredients

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 spoons olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup broth or water

Spices

  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Peel potatoes, onion and garlic
  • Wash mushrooms (if you use them for your soup)
  • Heat the pan with olive oil and butter
  • Dice potatoes and chop the onion, celery and garlic
  • Throw it all in the hot pan with olive oil and butter
  • Cover pan and keep the ingredients on medium low temperature for about 5 mins. Stir occasionally.
  • Add a cup of water or broth and leave it to boil for about 15 min
  • Chop the mushrooms and stir them in a different pot in 2 tbsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes (optional)
  • When potatoes are soft and the mushrooms stirred, combine everything in one single pan
  • Add 1 cup of heavy cream to the mixture
  • Turn off the stove
  • Blend everything with your hand blender about 60-90 seconds

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 1804mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1052IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 14mg

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