Potato Soup

updated Nov 17, 2023
Potato Soup Recipe

Mashed potato lovers: This creamy soup, made with tender, flavorful potatoes and topped with all the fixings, is for you.

Serves3 to 4

Makes2 quarts

Prep10 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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Overhead shot of a bowl of potato soup, topped with shredded cheese, bacon and chives.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Potatoes are comforting no matter how they are prepared, from roasted potatoes to crispy fries. But as the weather gets colder, my favorite way to enjoy potatoes is in a cozy bowl of creamy potato soup — it’s essentially a brothy version of mashed potatoes! Topped with crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, and fresh scallions, this potato soup will instantly make you happy on the first bite. 

What Is Potato Soup Made Of?

Potato soup is made with cooked potatoes, broth, milk, heavy cream, and a few aromatics like onion and garlic. It’s essentially a soupy version of delicious mashed potatoes, but it’s also highly customizable with different toppings. 

What Is the Best Potato for Soup?

I call for russet potatoes because they’re high in starch and low in moisture, which helps thicken the soup. But you can use other potatoes like Yukon Gold or red. Be sure to peel the potatoes before cooking them to avoid any waxiness from the skin.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

How to Make Potato Soup

  • Fry up the bacon for toppings. If you want to keep the potato soup vegetarian, you can skip this. But I highly recommend cooking the bacon first so that you can get crispy bacon to use as a topping, plus residual bacon fat to cook the aromatics and potatoes in for an extra smoky flavor.
  • Prepare the potatoes. While the bacon is cooking, prepare the potatoes by peeling and cutting them into big chunks. You don’t have to be particular with how you cut the potatoes; they are cut just to hasten the cooking process.
  • Cook the aromatics. In the residual bacon fat and a little bit more oil, cook the aromatics like onions and garlic. They provide a wonderful flavor foundation to build more flavors.
  • Cook the potatoes. Add the cut-up potatoes to the pot, and cook them in broth until they are fork-tender. We are essentially boiling the potatoes in the flavorful broth at this stage.
  • Blend the mixture. Right before blending the mixture, add some milk, which loosens the mixture as the potatoes get blended. You don’t need to add any starch to thicken the consistency because the potatoes naturally thicken as they continue to cook. 
  • Make it extra creamy. Even though we already added milk, some heavy cream takes this creamy soup to the next level. Because heavy cream is deliciously rich, it makes the soup velvety. If the texture of the soup doesn’t come out as thick as you want, you can continue to cook while occasionally stirring. But, if the soup is too thick, you can add a little bit of broth or water, a 1/4 cup at a time. 
  • Customize with different toppings. Besides the crispy bacon topping, you can add other toppings like fresh scallions, cheese, or even chili crisp! 

What Should I Serve Potato Soup With?

Potato soup is hearty as it is, so you don’t always need something else to pair with it. But just in case, here are some delicious sides to make it taste even better.

Potato Soup Recipe

Mashed potato lovers: This creamy soup, made with tender, flavorful potatoes and topped with all the fixings, is for you.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Makes 2 quarts

Serves 3 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4 slices

    thick-cut bacon

  • 2 pounds

    russet potatoes (about 4 medium)

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 cloves


  • 1 teaspoon

    neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 2 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups

    whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups

    heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

Serving options:

  • Thinly sliced scallions

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Sour cream


  1. Cut 4 thick-cut bacon slices crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel 2 pounds russet potatoes. Quarter each potato lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moon (about 5 cups). Thinly slice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup). Mince 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Place the bacon and 1 teaspoon neutral oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat; discard the remaining or save for another use.

  3. Place the 2 tablespoons bacon fat and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in the now-empty Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onion and cook until translucent and lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring to coat the potatoes in the fat, for 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, reducing the heat as needed, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups whole milk and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.

  5. Working in two batches, transfer the potato mixture to a stand blender, and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, blend directly in the pot with an immersion blender.) Return the soup to the pot.

  6. Add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. If the consistency is too thick, add 1/4 cup water or chicken broth. If the consistency is too thin, continue to simmer until desired consistency.

  7. Serve the soup topped with the bacon and thinly sliced scallions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.