Our Favorite Potato Soup

November 30, 2009 @ 8:35 pm | Filed under:

Mamalion asked for my potato soup recipe. I’ve been making this soup since college; my aunt gave me an old cookbook she’d had since the 50s and this was pretty much the only recipe I ever tried in the whole book. Easy and oh so yummy.

Peel and dice one small onion* and 5 or 6 big potatoes (more if they’re small; I think we used about 10 small potatoes last night, maybe 12).

Put in your soup pot and add just enough cold water to cover potatoes.

Pause for ten-minute discussion with husband about why the water should be cold. (Answer: because the book said so.)

Salt the heck out of it, bring water to boil, and simmer until potatoes are soft. Pretty standard potato cookery here.

Mash the potatoes right in the pot. Don’t drain the water! I use a potato masher because we like this pretty chunky, but you could use a hand mixer if you want a smoother soup.

Add a big chunk of butter and a can of condensed evaporated** milk. Or, as we did last night, dump in a lot of cream.

More salt! Pepper. Cubed ham if you have it. We always make potato soup a day or two after we bake a ham.

You could add parsley or other herbs if you like, but we never bother. It’s so flavorful with just the salt and pepper. I like lots and lots of pepper.

Sometimes I grate some cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top, but Scott considers this an abomination. I will concede that cheese is completely superfluous in this perfect, perfect soup. But I’m not budging on the cold water. So there. (She says maturely.)

Potatoes, onion, water, butter, milk, salt, pepper, ham. Doesn’t get much simpler than that. When we eat it we have to talk about it a lot in a redundant and emphatic fashion. Oh man, this is SO GOOD. I know, it’s really good. Can you believe how good this is?

* Edited to add the onion. I forgot it until Phoebe reminded me!

**Edited again! I meant evaporated milk, not the sweetened condensed stuff. See why I seldom post recipes? LOL. Pioneer Woman I am not. Many thanks to Linda for the discreet inquiry. 🙂

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11 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Mamalion says:

    Oooh, yummy! Thank you much from the Mom-Of-Many who has lots of potatoes at the moment, and who loves big pots of soup to feed them all! I’m thinking bacon bits instead of the ham….

  2. feebeeglee says:

    I make it Just Like That, except I also add a chopped onion along with the potatoes. And we don’t mash it, we just cook it to death.

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    ONION!!! Yes, you are right, I forgot the onion! We add one too. Will amend the recipe. Rose did the chopping yesterday so that’s why I forgot it. 🙂

  4. Mary G. says:

    Perfect … I now know what we’re having for dinner! We actually have left over ham (and turkey … and stuffing … and cranberry … )

    Blessings and hope y’all had a splendiferous Turkey-day (even if you do eat ham).

  5. MelanieB says:

    re cold water… Alton Brown says you should use cold because hot water can leach lead out of pipe welds. Not much but over time that can add up and better safe than sorry. I don’t know if it’s accurate; but that’s what Alton brown says.

  6. Elizabeth McCullough says:

    Just stopped by to put in a word for the onion, but I see you remembered. Can substitute leeks also.

  7. Joann says:

    Root veggies take a long time to cook and soften and so they are started in cold water. Other veggies cook quickly and so are cooked in boiling water.

  8. Hannah says:

    Bless you, my child. I was wanting to make potato soup tonight and needed a good recipe. How serendipitously you met the need!

  9. Maureen says:

    Ooooo, that sounds so yummy. I can never seem to make potato soup the way my mom did when I was growing up, but I’m going to try this recipe and see if it’s close. Or maybe I’ll just go to my mom’s house. 🙂

  10. Ruthie says:

    I couldn’t resist the big 59-cent bag of potatoes at Henry’s today when I remembered this post and the last of the ham in the fridge.

    I usually have terrible luck following recipes with no measurements — I am most decidedly not an intuitive cook) — but this turned out SO good. (I’m eating it now and trying to avoid spilling on the keyboard!) Thank you!

  11. Melissa Wiley says:

    Ruthie, I’m so glad you liked it! LOL about the no-measurement recipe…I really am such a disorganized cook. I’m glad you were able to follow it well enough to make a good soup. Isn’t it tasty? 🙂