Simple Old-Fashioned Potato Soup


There’s something undeniably comforting about a bowl of old-fashioned potato soup. It’s a recipe that harks back to simpler times, a dish that fills the stomach and warms the heart. This simple, old-fashioned potato soup, made with just a handful of ingredients, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. It’s a recipe that’s been passed down through generations, and for good reason.

old fashioned potato soup

How to Make Perfect Potato Soup Every Time

Join me in the kitchen, where we’re transforming everyday potatoes into the ultimate comfort food! Get ready for a creamy, dreamy potato soup adventure that’s sure to warm your heart and belly.


  1. Chop Potatoes: Dice your potatoes into even chunks.
  2. Boil Potatoes: Place potatoes in a pot, cover with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until they are tender.
  3. Cook Onions: In a separate pan, melt butter and sauté diced onions until they are soft and golden.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Add the cooked onions to the pot with the boiled potatoes.
  5. Add Milk: Pour milk into the pot with the potatoes and onions.
  6. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer: Gently bring the soup to a simmer, avoiding a full boil.
  8. Mash Potatoes: Partially mash the potatoes in the soup for a chunky texture.
  9. Adjust Consistency: If the soup is too thick, add more milk or some of the potato cooking water to thin it.
  10. Serve Hot: Once the soup reaches your desired consistency and flavor, serve it warm.


Potatoes: The star of the show, potatoes bring starchiness and body to the soup. Russet or baking potatoes are ideal for their high starch content, which helps thicken the soup naturally.

Onions: Yellow or sweet onions like Vidalia add a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor.

Butter: Used for sautéing onions, butter adds richness and a velvety texture.

Milk: Whole milk lends creaminess to the soup. You can also use cream or half-and-half for extra richness, or a plant-based milk for a vegan version.

Salt and Pepper: Essential seasonings to enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Simple Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Laura Ritterman


Prep time


Cooking time



Savor the simplicity of our Old-Fashioned Potato Soup, where creamy potatoes meet the sweet embrace of onions in a buttery broth. A timeless recipe that’s perfect for any meal.


  • 3 1/2 pounds 3 1/2 potatoes, diced

  • Water with a few pinches of salt (for boiling potatoes)

  • 3 tablespoons 3 butter

  • 1 medium 1 onion, diced

  • 6 cups 6 whole milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 salt (adjust to taste)

  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Add diced potatoes to a pot with salted water. Boil until fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes; drain, reserving some cooking water.
  • In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and golden brown.
  • Add drained potatoes, milk, salt, and pepper to the pot. Gently bring to a simmer, avoiding boiling.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. Mash up half of the potatoes for thickness. Thin with reserved cooking water if needed.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Salt the Water for Boiling Potatoes: Adding a few pinches of salt to the water when boiling the potatoes enhances their flavor. This simple step makes a significant difference in the overall taste of the soup.
  • Careful Onion Cooking: Cook the onions in butter until they are soft and golden around the edges. This process sweetens the onions and intensifies their flavor, which is crucial for a soup with few ingredients. Be mindful of the heat to avoid burning the butter.
  • Gentle Heating of Milk: Heat the milk very gently until it bubbles around the edges, but do not boil it. Boiling can lead to curdling, especially if using lower-fat milk. This gentle approach ensures a smooth, creamy soup.
  • Seasoning to Taste: Adjust the salt and pepper according to your preference. Start with less salt if you’re sensitive to it, and don’t shy away from a generous amount of ground black pepper for added depth.
  • Mashing for Texture: After the soup has simmered, use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash about half of the potatoes, leaving the rest chunky. This creates a pleasing texture, balancing creaminess with chunks of potato. If the soup is too thick, add some of the reserved potato cooking water to thin it to your desired consistency.
easy potato soup on countertop

Difference between Old Fashioned Potato Soup and Modern Potato Soup

old-fashioned potato soup is characterized by its simplicity and focus on a few key ingredients, offering a comforting, straightforward potato flavor. In contrast, modern potato soup variations are more likely to include a wider range of ingredients and flavors, resulting in a richer, creamier soup.

AspectOld-Fashioned Potato SoupPotato Soup (Modern)
Ingredients– Potatoes, onions, butter, milk/cream– Potatoes, garlic, celery, carrots, cheese, bacon, sour cream, herbs, spices
Preparation Style– Straightforward, focusing on natural flavors– More complex techniques, including sautéing additional vegetables, blending for creaminess
Texture– Thinner, broth-like, thickened by potato starch– Creamier and thicker, often pureed, with added cheese or cream

Storage and Reheating

Storing Leftover Potato Soup:

  • Cool Down: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Refrigeration: Transfer the soup to an airtight container and refrigerate. It should keep well for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, potato soup can be frozen. Freeze it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It’s best used within 1-2 months.

Reheating Potato Soup

  • Refrigerated Soup:
    • Stovetop: Reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is heated through.
    • Microwave: For a quicker option, use the microwave. Heat in a microwave-safe bowl, covered, stirring every minute until hot.
  • Frozen Soup:
    • Thawing: First, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Reheating: Once thawed, reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If the soup seems too thick, add a little water or milk to reach the desired consistency.

Pairing Suggestions

  1. Olive Garden Breadsticks: These soft, garlicky breadsticks are perfect for dipping into the creamy texture of potato soup. Their slight crispness on the outside adds a pleasant texture contrast, while the garlic flavor complements the soup’s savory notes.
  2. Texas Roadhouse Rolls: Similar to the Olive Garden Breadsticks, these fluffy and buttery rolls from Texas Roadhouse are ideal for soaking up the rich flavors of the soup. Their slight sweetness balances the savory depth of the potato soup.
  3. Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese: For a hearty and comforting meal, pairing potato soup with creamy mac and cheese adds richness and a different texture. The cheese’s sharpness and the pasta’s softness create a satisfying contrast with the smooth soup.
  4. Cracker Barrel Green Beans: A side of seasoned green beans adds freshness and a bit of crunch to the meal. The beans’ natural flavor and the seasoning used in the Cracker Barrel recipe offer a nice counterpoint to the creamy and rich potato soup.


How can I make my potato soup creamier?

To make your potato soup creamier, you can add heavy cream, half-and-half, or a dollop of sour cream. Another method is to blend a portion of the soup to create a thicker, creamier texture without adding extra dairy.

What should I do if my potato soup is too thick?

If your potato soup is too thick, you can thin it out by adding more broth or milk. Add the liquid gradually and stir until you reach the desired consistency. Be careful not to over-thin the soup; start with small amounts and adjust as needed.

How can I thicken my potato soup if it’s too thin?

To thicken a thin potato soup, you can create a slurry by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour with a little cold water until smooth, then stir it into the soup. Another option is to mash some of the potatoes directly in the soup or add instant potato flakes as a quick thickener.

Can I make potato soup in advance?

Yes, you can make potato soup in advance. It often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together. Just reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave, and add a little extra liquid if it has thickened too much in the fridge.


This simple old-fashioned potato soup is more than just a meal; it’s a warm hug in a bowl. Its simplicity is its strength, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through. Whether you’re seeking comfort on a cold day or looking to reminisce about the past, this soup is sure to satisfy. Serve it with a side of crusty bread or a salad for a complete meal that’s both nourishing and heartwarming.

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