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; while 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.