Soups: potato soup

Subject: potato soup
From: Larry McDonald (BrassRing at
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 1996 21:22:41 -0800
Need simple recipe for scratch potato soup. Spicy/tangy okay too.
From: msoja at (Onion Breath)
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 13:46:55 GMT
Can you make chicken stock?
Simmer a chicken or left over chicken parts for an hour or two with a couple onions, 2 carrots, 1 celery, bay leaves, garlic clove, few peppercorns, and either basil or savory or chervil or cilantro. Strain.

Chop into cubes a couple big tators (per about quart of stock.) Boil until just soft. Drain.

Sautee one big chopped onion (per quart of stock) in a minimal amount of butter until soft.

Add taters and onion back to stock and simmer for half an hour. Add tobasco if you like. The soup should be fairly chunky, chock full of the potatoes and onion.

Ladle into a blender or food processor and as it purees pour in cream, maybe half a cup to a quart of soup. Add a good amount of white pepper. Salt to taste.

Reheat gently on the stove. Garnish with fresh parsley.

This is a basic recipe I use for lots of soups. Add lots of mushrooms to make cream of mushroom, or brocolli or cauliflower or carrots or leeks or celery or etc.
From: edrich at (Ed Rich)
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 00:34:59 GMT
I wasn't going to get in the act on this thread but in view of the chicken soup thing I feel compelled to take action.
You wanted a simple recipe for potato soup-here is one"

take a half pound of thick sliced bacon and dice
one large white onion diced
several potatoes cut up (between being diced and being quartered if
you get what I mean.)
celery tips minced
salt and pepper

Saute the bacon and onion until the onions are translucent and the bacon is cooked (not crisp). pour off some (but not all) of the bacon fat.
Add at least a quart of milk-maybe two and the potatoes and celery tops.
simmer until the potatoes are done. At this point it is a good idea to thicken the soup slightly; make a white sauce of butter, flour and milk and slowly stir into the soup. Salt and pepper to taste.
It is no disgrace to toss in a couple of cans of minced clams if you really want something snazzy- but all you wanted was a simple recipe for potato soup wasn't it?
From: TJ (stingh at
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 20:45:31 -0800
IMHO nearly any potato soup can be improved with the addition of a parsnip. Corn, too.
From: Linda J. Hutchison (linda at
Date: 10 Dec 1996 21:30:08 GMT
I used to be so frustrated when asking my grandmothers (both excellent cooks) for their recipes only to get things like "add a handful of flour" or "add enough flour to reach the right consistency", etc. In other words, no measurements based on cups, teaspoons, etc. Now, I believe that was an inherited trait, as I find recipes frustrating and best used as a place to start. ;-) Having said that, here's my "recipe" for a delicious potato soup:

Peel & dice two or more large potatoes (when feeling appropriately lazy or rushed, substitute generous amount of frozen Ore-Ida hashbrowns)
1 large onion, chopped (can used frozen, chopped)
1 small bunch of green onions, white and green sliced
3-4 ribs of celery, diced (1-2 cups)
8 oz mushrooms, washed and sliced or diced (Can substitute canned, sliced button mushrooms)
1-2 cups fresh broccoli diced (can use frozen, chopped)
1-2 Tbsp chicken boullion (or canned/fresh chick stock - up to two cups)
*crushed red pepper flakes - to taste (start with 1/8 to 1/4 tsp)

Place all the above in a large pan. Add water to cover vegetables. Bring to boil then simmer until vegetables are tender-crisp.

Working in batches, place in blender and blend until smooth. I only blend about 1/2 of mixture, leaving interesting texture to soup. But you can blend entire mixture for a smooth, creamy soup. This will result in a thick, creamy mixture without the need to use flour or cornstarch as a thickening agent.

Return to pan, add generous amounts of cheese. I like a combination of Velveeta, sharp chedder and swiss. I'm sure I use between 1-2 cups. SImmer until cheese is melted.

Add up to 1 pint light cream. Try the new fat-free half-and-half for a very low-fat, health-conscious soup.

Add salt and white pepper to taste.

Serve in soup bowl. Garnish with one or more of the following: herbed croutons, crumbles of crisp bacon, dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese and/or minced chives (or green onion tops).

For a richer taste, add up to 1/2 cup sherry or 1 cup white wine after cheese and before cream. Add slowly - and in this order - to prevent soup from curdling.

*If you prefer a beef taste, substitute beef boullion or beef broth. Another suggestion, use an envelope of Knorr's Vegetable soup mix.

As you can see, you can be creative with this and add your favorite vegetables. I like to add carrots, but they are not my husband's favorite.
From: schiele at (Pulliam-Schiele)
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 23:40:33 GMT
This is a simply wonderful (and easy) potato soup that uses leeks, so adds a tad of zip:

Leek and Potato Soup

Recipe By: James Beard
Serving Size: 4
Categories: Soups And Stews

5 leeks
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups potatoes -- diced
1 quart chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

Wash the leeks, split them lengthwise, and cut into thin slices after removing all sand. Saute in 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet for about 4 mins. Add the potatoes and the broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 mins. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt, cayenne and nutmeg. Strain out the vegetables and puree in food processor. Return to the broth. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir in the flour. Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth and bolend well until the mixture thickens. Return to the kettle and stir until soup comes to a boil.

Vichyssoise variation:

Prepare soup as above and allow it to cool. Add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and blend well. Chill in refrigerator. Serve chilled.
From: birgitte at (Birgitte)
Date: 10 Dec 1996 03:08:34 GMT
This is a simple potato soup I fix all the time because I always have the basic ingredients on hand - plus potato soup is a favorite comfort food of mine in winter. You can alter some of the ingredients to make your version. It is really good and creamy/cheesy:

4 -5 medium to large potatos, peeled and cubed
chicken stock defatted (about 6 cups, enough to cover potatos)
1 large onion minced finely
2 T butter
3 cups of milk
1 cup of grated cheese of your choice (I used last time a mix of cheddar and asiago which was very tasty - try gruyere or a cheese with a bit of sharpness or pungency to make it taste distinctive which is good with the blandness of potatos)
minced Italian parsley or fresh dill (optional)
1 T of flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Sautee the onion until soft in a medium sized pot with 1 T of butter until soft. Add the potatos and sautee for a few minutes stirring. Add enough of the chicken broth to cover the potatos and turn the heat up to medium high until it begins to boil then lower it to a simmer. While the potatos cook in another pot, melt 1 T of butter over low heat and add 1 T of flour stir until it becomes pasty. Add the milk and stir with a wire whisk until blended. As it thickens, add the grated cheese and stir in until it blends together. When the potatos are very soft add the milk and cheese mixture and stir until blended. Just before serving add the minced herbs if you choose to use them. If you have any questions e-mail me, the measurements are approximate.
From: Harry A. Demidavicius (harryd at
Date: 12 Dec 1996 05:47:32 GMT
I had not planned to get in on this thread either but ... it seems everybody has a "best" recipe. Here is mine. It is a favourite of my wife's, who is not a potato fan.
Simply put, here we go.

Need enough chicken stock [ I guess commercial bouillon would be OK although I have not tried it].
Need enough freshly mashed potatoes to achieve the consistency you wish in the soup. Please use more butter and milk than you would for "normal eating". They should be smooooth and almost to goopy to serve as a vegetable.
From here I proceed to sauté one diced onion, until transluscent, remove most of it and continue with the balance until it is blackened [not carmelized ... blackened].
Bring the stock to a low boil, add the potato and [non-blackened] onion and let it go until you have a smooth mixture to your taste in thickness. This is controlled by the amount of potato.
When this looks good to your taste, lower the heat, add in the remaining onion, and a little low fat /skim milk. This is not too hard on the calories but provides the colour to offset the black dots of onion, and also just adds enough consistency to make the soup perfect.
Needless to say you use salt & pepper to taste, both in the soup and the potato.
You can garnish with chopped parsley or green minced onion.
For variation, you may add mushrooms, [tinned into the soup, but frankly I hate the things, or freshly sautéed and spiced with salt & pepper, also at the last moment. The latter is better but neither are necessary. I have also thrown in powdered curry [standard strength], again to taste.
All of the above are good hot or cold. Takes under 40 minutes from start to finish if you have the stock [I make a lot once in a while in freeze it in icecube trays and then put the cubes into a "ziplock" bag so I have variable supplies of good stock on hand. ... but in a pinch, Mr Campbell can stand in with their bouillon if you are caught.
The "recipe" is variable, made to size and taste, admired by strangers who think you have slaved over it all day, and, in my family, frequently requested as a last minute order. Also, as you can see it is not very precise.