This delicious Easy Potato Soup is comfort food at its Best! Super quick and easy to make. It’s like a warm hug from Grandma in a bowl!
I love hot soup on a cold day. Sitting under a soft blanket in a comfy chair, sipping spoonful after spoonful of something delicious and warm, while a cold wind swirls outside—is there anything better? There are lots of soup recipes I love. It would be absolutely out of the question for me to ever name my “favorite” soup; I could never pick. I could maybe, maybe come up with a top five or top ten. This recipe for easy potato soup with bacon would absolutely be on that list.
Let me stress the “easy” part of this recipe. Anybody who makes soups often knows that some recipes can get pretty complicated. Soup seems like an easy dish to make (throw some stuff in a pot and let it sit), but the reality is often much more involved. However, this old fashioned potato soup is really, really simple. It’s the kind of dish I can make while listening to a book on tape or watching a show—it doesn’t require 100% of my attention to whip up. It’s almost as easy and waaay more delicious than an easy cream of potato soup from a can.
Sometimes I like to serve this dish with a handful of cheddar cheese on top, like a baked potato. Folks love that added touch, and rave about my easy cheesy potato soup. You can also melt the cheese in to the soup when it’s hot, but I find the flavor is best adding the cheese to the finished dish.
This is a great dish to serve when you have a small gathering of friends over—like a book club or a baby shower. It’s hearty and filling, but not so much so that everyone feels weighed down by it. And remember when I said that it’s easy? Well, that makes it perfect to throw together while prepping for something else.
But this soup isn’t just good for parties, it makes an awesome weeknight entrée as well. Why, you ask? Because this recipe has meat and veggies in it, so you can be sure your family is getting a filling, complete meal.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
Texture: The texture of this soup is totally versatile. You can make easy creamy potato soup or easy chunky potato soup. Elegant and velvety smooth or rustic and full of big hunks of potato—it’s totally up to you! Personally, I aim for somewhere in the middle. I like it a little chunky, but with a nice smoothness throughout too.
To make the soup smooth, if that’s what you like, you’ll want to use a standard or immersion blender. I strongly suggest you use an immersion blender—it’s the safest and (frankly) easiest way to go. However, if you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a standard blender, but take great caution when doing so.
With either appliance, be careful not to over-process. If you’re aiming for the smooth version of the recipe, blend just until the ingredients are pureed—otherwise the starch in the potatoes can become gluey. I’ve seen over-blended versions of this soup… not pretty.
Cooking: Be sure to follow the cooking instructions. Do NOT boil the soup once you have added the milk and cream. Simmering is the way to go! If the heat gets too high, the milk and/or cream can separate or curdle, ruining the whole dish.
Hot Liquids in the Blender: The best thing to do is let the soup cool before blending. That’s the safest method to avoid a mess. But, let’s face it, generally we’re all in a hurry. We want to get dinner on the table ASAP. If you fall in that hurried category (as I always do), you must exercise caution when blending the soup. You do not want to have the soup explode all over your kitchen! (I’ve been there and let me tell ya it’s NOT pretty) Here’s how to avoid it: if your soup is hot, only fill the blender halfway. Blend the soup in batches, smoothing half a blender at a time. The hot liquid expands here, filling up more space than it originally did. You can imagine the result if you fill the blender too full……I’m talking full blown NIGHTMARE!
The lid on most blenders has a removable portion that can be left off to allow steam to escape while blending. If your blender has that feature, leave it off! Letting the steam escape will help you avoid disaster. But you still need to keep an eye on it. If you leave that part closed, steam from the hot soup can create enough pressure to literally blow off the entire lid and spray hot soup everywhere. Seriously, YIKES!!!
Potatoes: This soup is sort of like an easy baked potato soup, or an easy loaded potato soup. Its got a bunch of the toppings we love on a baked potato (like bacon, etc.)! But just like with baked potatoes, the type of potato you use is pretty important. I use russet potatoes in this recipe.
I think their flavor and texture is perfect for the dish, and I like the way there edges break down just a little while cooking. That bit of crumbling edge helps to create a rich, thicker texture in the soup, even when you leave the texture of the soup chunky. Other types of potatoes, like Red Skin and Yukon Gold, hold there shape and stay firmer while they cook so they really don’t contribute any thickening unless you blend them.
I have read that Cook’s Illustrated likes to use Red Bliss potatoes in their potato soup. They think that those particular potatoes add the most “potato-y” flavor to the finished soup. Either variety works well, but I prefer the russet potatoes.
Making Ahead: I love making dish ahead. When you’re making this soup ahead of time and planning to freeze it, do not add the cream. Make up the rest of the dish—sans cream—and freeze that. The texture of the soup is such that it’s best to thaw the frozen soup, bring it to temperature, then add the cream and heat through. But remember, once the cream is added do not boil the soup.
Hashbrowns: Some people like adding hash browns to their potato soup. To each their own, I suppose, but I’ve always felt like hash browns add a weird texture in a soup, and I much prefer this recipe than one for easy potato soup with hash browns. I think that plain old potatoes produce a much better finished product than a recipe using hash browns.
- Yield: Serves 6-8
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
Easy Potato Soup
- Bacon, Chopped - 12 Ounces
- Onion, Chopped - 1 Cup
- Garlic Cloves, Minced - 4 Large
- Carrots, Peeled and Finely Diced - 1/2 Cup
- Celery, Finely Diced - 1/2 Cup
- Dried Thyme - 1/4 Teaspoon
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/4 Cup
- Russet Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped into Small pPeces - 2 Pounds
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth - 32 Ounces
- Better than Bouillon~Chicken Flavor - 1 Tablespoon
- Whole Milk - 2 Cups
- Heavy Cream, Warmed - 1/2 Cup
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, until crisp. Remove cooked bacon; drain on paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Drain off all but 2 Tablespoon of rendered bacon fat.
- Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to Dutch oven and cook, over medium heat until vegetables are almost tender, 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle veggies with flour and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
- Add potatoes, chicken stock, Better than Bouillon and milk. Gently bring the soup to a simmer, but do not boil (or the soup might break). Simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15- 20 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream.
- Cool the soup slightly then ladle half the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. (Make sure the blender is only half filled-Hot soup will expand ). Pour back into soup pot and heat as needed. Adjust seasoning.