| 03.24.2018

“What do you have?” Potato Soup


Brita Olson | Crumbs

Brita Olson | Crumbs

Brita Olson | Crumbs

Even with limited ingredients, potato soup is an easy thing to pull together for a warm, hearty winter meal. When the weather turns cold on the Palouse, it’s easy to get chilled and a little soup how-to will help fend off the persistent wintery cold. Seriously, a good soup and the knowledge that you created it yourself makes for a hugely satisfying meal. Furthermore, it’s a great opportunity to practice your creative cooking skills. I call this refrigerator cooking, you look in your fridge (or cupboards or wherever your food storage is) and figure out what exactly you’re going to make. Of course, for potato soup, you have to make sure that you have potatoes on hand.


  • Potatoes (whole or leftover, it’s flexible)
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Optional (dictated by what you actually have on hand):

  • Bacon
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Other spices (rosemary, thyme, celery seed, etc.)


  1. If you are using, boiled potatoes, guess how many you’ll need based on the amount you’re serving. This is probably about 1 per person depending on the size of the potato, maybe more. I always shoot high because I like leftovers.
  2. Peel and chop potatoes into a pot, fill with water to just cover potatoes.
  3. Place on burner on high. Turn to medium low after it boils.
  4. When potatoes are tender, give a good stir and keep over heat. You want to cook them up for a smoother soup.
  5. If you are using leftover potato, add to pot, and heat on medium to medium-low, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add some milk. Add more for a runnier soup and less for thicker.
  7. On the side, fry bacon, onions, celery and any other raw vegetables you may have. This is really open-ended and must be done according to personal preference. If you like bacon, add a lot. If it’s not your pleasure, don’t. The same goes for all ingredients. Add to potatoes when they are cooked.
  8. Drain and add any canned vegetables (like green beans) directly to the potatoes.
  9. Add frozen vegetables (like corn) directly to the potatoes as well.
  10. Cook everything together for a few minutes until heated through.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  For me, this usually results in at least a tablespoon salt and a few teaspoons pepper. Add other spices if desired. I approach this by smelling different seasonings I have and adding what fits.
  12. Taste test. This is key. How else are you going to know what it needs? Feel free to go back and add more milk or another ingredient if you want. If you want it to thicken up, just keep it cooking for longer.
  13. When the soup suits you and you’re ready to eat, serve and enjoy your creation.

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