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November 5, 2008 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Pimp my potato soup!

I've successfully managed to make potato soup. It's yummy, but the most basic recipe I could find: potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, water, and a little bit of milk. What are your favorite potato soup variations? Cheese, spices, vegetables, and/or weird ingredients welcome!
posted by kidsleepy to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Check Epicurious.
posted by scabrous at 7:42 AM on November 5, 2008

We had potato soup with sausage and leeks last weekend and it was GOOOOOOD.
posted by youcancallmeal at 7:46 AM on November 5, 2008

Also: boil the potatos in chicken stock instead of water and then when they're soft, just mash them right in for extra yummy.
posted by youcancallmeal at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2008

The answer to all culinary questions: Bacon.
posted by mmascolino at 7:48 AM on November 5, 2008 [7 favorites]

Beer and cheese.
posted by nomisxid at 7:51 AM on November 5, 2008

Cheese yes (real cheese, not Velveeta), also pasta ( I like curly stuff like rotini) and put in some cumin or curry powder. I like to sautee the onions first so they're milder, Dad likes to put them in toward the end so they're still crunchy.
posted by attercoppe at 7:53 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Definitely use stock. A bit of shallot and/or leek at the beginning. Still very simple, but amazing.

Or you can have a lot of fun with baked potato soup: Bake the potatoes first, so they're good and crunchy outside, finish with whole milk and a little cream, offer "fixings" - grated cheddar, bacon, scallions. Yum!
posted by peachfuzz at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2008

Leeks, for sure.
posted by plinth at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Plenty of shredded sharp cheddar, chicken stock (or bouillon) and some dried dill. The dill adds a nice little variance and makes it all taste soooooooo good.
posted by VioletU at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2008

leeks, bacon, cheese, a smidge of half-and-half
posted by agentwills at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2008

Leeks is (imho) by far the best thing to make a soup go from meh to MEGA ;-)

2-3 large pototoes, peeled and cut into roughly 1cm squares
2 large leeks (the whole leek), sliced and rinsed
2 large carrots, sliced
2 pints of vegetable or chicken stock (the powdered or stock variety is fine)
A good helping of dried flat leaf parsley
A tablespoon of single cream

1. Melt a little butter in a large saucepan (or lidded wok)
2. Add the vegetables and cook over a medium heat until a little softened
3. Add the stock and seasoning to taste, bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes
4. Remove from heat, leave to cool then divide into plastic containers.
5. Put one in the fridge for later, freeze the rest.
6. Later that day (or better yet the next day) place the soup in a saucepan, add a tablespoon or so of single cream and a good sprinkling of dried flatleaf parsley and reheat.

Best soup in the world.

[mmascolino's suggestion to add bacon (or ham) also works for this but I prefer to eat a bacon sarnie alongside instead.]
posted by ceri richard at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2008

Erm, when I said "Bouillon" I meant the dried, powdered stuff. In case you don't have homemade stock. I just realized that the distinction between the two is something we use around my house and isn't really a normal distinction!
posted by VioletU at 8:06 AM on November 5, 2008

Nthing leeks. Also, stock and cheese (pungent cheeses, like blue, work really well with potatoes). I also think that goat milk, if you can find it, is way better for soup--it adds a sort of savory, complex taste that you don't get with regular milk.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:15 AM on November 5, 2008

Over here in Germany many soups start with Suppengrün^, a combination of parsley, carrots, leek, onion, and celeriac / parsley root (Hamburg parsley) / rutabaga (somewhat related to mirepoix). It is either removed when the stock's done or (at least the root vegetables) pureed and mixed into the soup. It gives a nice, solid foundation, better than instant vegetable broth, and the parsley root especially gives the potatoes an additional flavor I quite enjoy.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 8:15 AM on November 5, 2008

posted by matteo at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2008

I have been researching potato soup this week because I want to try a go at it tonight or tomorrow. Some delicious-sounding variations I have heard include adding bacon or ham and having a "loaded baked potato" approach to it. You could also use Italian sausage and garlic and making a really good, homemade version of that potato soup they have at Olive Garden.
posted by bristolcat at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2008

Yes, you should definitely use leeks rather than onions. Cream instead of milk also tastes better. The type of potato you use will affect the end flavor as well, especially if you're a light-on-the-cream type.

My favorite variation is Julia Child's garlic-saffron potato soup (Soupe a l'ail aux pommes de terre). You should of course own Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but if you don't, the recipe here seems complete. Potato soup is wonderful to experiment with because it is so basic and makes a nice strong base. You can throw almost anything that tastes good with potatoes in it. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, parsnips, carrots, and turnips have all turned out well for me.
posted by fidelity at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2008

I made soup a while ago where I attempted to add every single vegetable I could find. I was amazed by how well asparagus took to soups, and now I throw it in every time.
posted by phunniemee at 8:40 AM on November 5, 2008

i thought about adding some boursin garlic cheese into the pot... what do you guys think?
posted by kidsleepy at 8:43 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cilantro chopped up with pimento sprinkled on top and on top of that rye bread croutons.
posted by watercarrier at 8:54 AM on November 5, 2008

One of the best potato soup recipes I know is basically potatoes, leeks, milk/cream and dry vermouth.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:01 AM on November 5, 2008

Sweat some leeks at the get-go and think about bacon. Chives never broke any heats, either.
posted by GilloD at 9:08 AM on November 5, 2008

Fresh or canned asparagus is also a great addition when blended in. I am also a super fan of crumbled bacon.

I have the great fortune of being able to buy a tub of duck fat at the grocery store, and I always use a bit when making potato dishes. Great for sautéing the onions in.
posted by MissSquare at 9:40 AM on November 5, 2008

I no longer care about your soup. Make a T-shirt now. And a spaghetti strap-tank.

"Pimp my Potato Soup!" This, this is the phrase I've needed to avoid cursing in front of toddlers. This is what to those who are still calling for B. Husain's certifiate.

Some of the shirts should have "Bacon!!!" on the back.

To keep this on topic - *sour cream, *buttermilk, *rosemary combined with white pepper, and *soft white cheese are all good friends to the humble potato. Also, beer. Pale beer and a sour cheese.

Potato can be curried, too, if you are in a spicy mood. Or just red pepper and mustard if you don't have South Asian spices laying around.

You came up with "Pimp My Potato Soup!" - you're better than all of us. Soup on, kidsleepy, soup on!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:23 PM on November 5, 2008

A spoon of lavender honey (does that count as weird ingredient?), some thyme, and finish it off with a generous dollop of sour cream or even better creme fraiche, if you can get some. Potato soup à la provencal. Delicious!
posted by The Toad at 2:38 AM on November 6, 2008

Add corn and bacon, and you'll end up with corn chowder, add clams for clam chowder. so add jalalpenos & cheese or bacon & cheese for, respectively, jalapeno or bacon chowder.
posted by theora55 at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2008

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