Don’t, I beg you, dismiss this soup out of hand for its unapologetic plainness. It’s a wonderful meal in a bowl.

Potato soup is highly soothing, uses only a handful of affordable ingredients that you probably already have, and it welcomes a wide range of additions and toppings–quite like a baked potato in the form of a velvety soup. Spuds actually possess a good amount of umami, which explains their appeal: quiet, deep savouriness and sweet-starchy comfort.

I don’t bother to peel the potatoes: you do get the occasional tiny bit of skin floating around, but it otherwise gets blended in and deepens the flavour.

…experiment with toppings. I like it with a handful of cheese and fresh spring onions…

You can add more vegetables to the soup, if you like, and experiment with toppings. I like it with a handful of cheese and fresh spring onions. This recipe makes 4 huge bowlfuls each, enough for a complete meal. The amounts can be easily halved or doubled. Cool and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe: Potato soup for the soul


  • . 2 tablespoons butter
  • . Spot of cooking oil
  • . 2 - 3 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • . 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • . Fat pinch of salt
  • . 4 medium potatoes (around 700g - 800g), unpeeled, preferably the floury kind (e.g. white baking potatoes, Maris Pipers, etc), diced small
  • . 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, preferably good home-made stuff or made up from Swiss marigold powder
  • . 250ml milk, preferably full-fat
  • . Salt, pepper, mace or nutmeg to taste
  • . To serve: double or soured cream, garlic oil, grated cheese, chopped spring onions, parsley, thyme, caramelised onions, crisp fried bacon, etc.


  1. Melt the butter and oil together in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir well, cover tightly, and let them sweat over a low heat for about 10 minutes, uncovering to stir occasionally.
  2. When the time's up and the onions and garlic are fragrant and translucent, add the diced potatoes. Stir well to coat with the cooking fat--you may have to add a further knob of butter and a bit of oil. Cover and leave to sweat for a further 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are translucent at the edges and beginning to soften.
  3. While the vegetables are sweating, heat up the stock in a separate saucepan and keep it at a gentle simmer. When the potatoes and onions are done, pour over the hot stock, stir well, bring to a lively simmer. Let it bubble, covered, for 20 - 30 minutes until the potatoes are completely tender and the cooking liquid tastes rich.
  4. Blend the soup til smooth. You can obviously do this with any kind of blender but you can also strain out the cooked vegetables into a large bowl and apply a potato masher to them. Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg or mace.
  5. Divide amongst deep soup bowls, add the toppings of your choice, and serve.

About The Author

History of Art graduate from SOAS (jointly with UCL). I cook, eat, and observe the world. Then I write about it and share it with you. This is a unilateral decision.

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