Old Fashioned Potato Soup

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This Old Fashioned Potato Soup is a journey back to grandma’s kitchen where hearty food is made with common ingredients, and every bite tells a story.

a horizontally aligned photo of a cup of potato soup with a metal spoon in it, over a wooden tabletop with a grey and white checkered tea towel visible in the background.

Old Fashioned Potato Soup

This recipe for old fashioned potato soup takes me right back to my childhood. My mom often made this “milk and potatoes only” soup on Sunday nights. Eating potato soup after church is a tradition that all of my siblings remember.

I give my mom a lot of grace for what I remember of her kitchen, because I know she had a lot more hungry kids than budget. We kids still get a laugh over how she would multiply this soup for extra mouths by just adding water and milk.

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4 Ingredient Potato Soup

There is one thing I do differently from my mom when it comes to making “her” potato soup. I like to add just a little bit of butter at the end. It boosts the flavor and adds a richness that can’t be beaten.

The inclusion of butter makes this recipe a 4 ingredient potato soup. To expand it to a 5 ingredient potato soup, it can also be made with either chicken broth or vegetable broth, which deepens the flavor nicely.

A bowl of potato soup on a wooden tabletop with a grey and white tea towel.

Old Fashioned Potato Soup Recipe

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • potatoes
  • water
  • whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  • butter (optional)
Chopped potatoes have been placed in a red handled pot on the stove to boil in water.

Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Carefully drain the water and return the pot with the potatoes to the stove. Add the milk and set the heat to medium. Do not boil.

The potatoes have been boiled and drained, and are now returned to the pot.

Bring the milk to steaming and barely simmering at the edges of the pan, for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and stir gently to melt. Remove from heat and serve warm.

This recipe can be made with Russets, yellow, or red potatoes. I typically use whichever variety I have on hand. My mom has always made her simple potato soup with Russets.

Pouring in the milk to create the soup with the boiled potatoes.

As written, this recipe makes a good size pot of soup. Feel free to reduce the recipe by half, if you don’t have as many people at your table.

The soup keeps well in the refrigerator for several days, and it’s a popular lunch for my kids. They like to load their bowls up with extra cheese and bacon bits, too.

Stirring the potatoes in the milk on the stove with a long, blue handed silicon spatula.

Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

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A bowl of potato soup on a wooden tabletop with a grey and white tea towel.

Old Fashioned Potato Soup

4.92 from 12 votes
This Old Fashioned Potato Soup is a journey back to grandma’s kitchen where hearty food is made with common ingredients, and every bite tells a story.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 5 pounds potatoes scrubbed, peeled, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • water
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • teaspoons kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter optional

Instructions

  • Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Carefully drain the water and return the pot with the potatoes to the stove.
  • Add the milk and set the heat to medium. Do not boil. Bring the milk to steaming and barely simmering at the edges of the pan, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and stir gently to melt. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Notes

This recipe can be made with Russets, yellow, or red potatoes. I typically use whichever variety I have on hand.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcal · Carbohydrates: 6g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Trans Fat: 0.1g · Cholesterol: 20mg · Sodium: 352mg · Potassium: 185mg · Fiber: 0.02g · Sugar: 6g · Vitamin A: 256IU · Calcium: 151mg · Iron: 0.01mg
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Patsy says

    I usually cook my potatoes in chicken broth, that way I don’t have to drain them. I also use onions only because I love onions and I usually use my potato masher to break up some of the potatoes. and yes I use a lot of butter at the end4 stars

  2. Paula M Hutchinson says

    When I was a kid my mom made this but she added celery. She did add some butter near the end. I have made this just like my mother did and everyone loved it.5 stars

  3. Trish says

    This is how my Grandma always made hers! Nobody could ever remember how she did it. The only difference was occasionally she would put in a few “drop biscuits” or “dumplins” to add a little extra. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.5 stars

  4. Lin says

    Same as my mother did also but she used a can of evaporated milk and a little flour to thicken. Then she added chopped hard boiled eggs when served. Good memory. Thank you. I loved eating with saltines.5 stars

  5. Debra says

    Exactly the way my mom made potato soup when I was a child! Don’t know how it was so delicious but it was. Thanks for the memories. What I wouldn’t give to taste some of her wonderful cooking!5 stars

  6. Sarah says

    This is how my mom made potato soup when I was growing up. Sometimes she’d throw in a can of sliced mushrooms or a couple of sliced boiled eggs. It was always really good.5 stars

  7. Donna says

    I love potato soup!! My husband, who just passed away this past August, loved to make potato soup also. But he would make little meatballs, boil them to get the grease out of them while the potatoes were cooking, then when they were done, he would put the meatballs in with the potatoes & let them all cook together for a while. Our kids always loved when he cooked it, he didn’t put milk in his, so when I fixed my bowl of soup, I would just add me a little bit of can milk to mine—DELICIOUS!!!!! But when I made my potato soup, it was with red potatoes, onion, then a couple of canned milk when done!!! Always hit the spot!!5 stars

  8. Mike says

    No fresh tyme,garlic and a sprinkle of chives on top come on what kind of recipe is this, it’s
    amazing that people think is a good recipe

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Mike. You’re welcome to season the recipe any way you like; however, not everyone likes the same flavors. This is just a basic soup for cold winter days; thyme, garlic, and chives would be a lovely addition, but the soup’s great as is, too. If you made the recipe, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just add the herbs to your own dish; if you didn’t, I’m not sure why you’re leaving a comment on something you haven’t even tried yet. Either way, though, I hope the next recipe you find better fits your taste. Happy cooking!