Creamy Homemade Potato Soup: A Quick and Delicious Recipe

Experience the essence of comfort in a bowl with this delightful and easy-to-make potato soup. Passed down from the granddaughter of an Idaho potato farmer, this recipe ensures a creamy, thick, and luxurious soup, and it's the best you'll ever taste. The best part? It only takes about 30 minutes to prepare!

Ingredients for Potato Soup

Here are the essential ingredients you'll need to create this mouthwatering potato soup:

For the Vegetable Base

  • 4 cups of diced Russet potatoes (approximately 2 large potatoes, roughly 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup of diced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 clove of garlic, expertly mashed and diced
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (opt for chicken or turkey flavor)
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley (you can also use 1 tablespoon of dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

For the Creamy Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of butter (equivalent to one stick)
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 4 cups of milk (whole milk provides the best results)

Optional Garnishes

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green onions
  • Extra chopped parsley

Let's Get Cooking: Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the art of crafting this delicious potato soup by following these simple steps:

1. Vegetable Preparation

Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes, aiming for a fairly small dice of approximately 1/2 inch. These diced potatoes, equivalent to about 2 pounds, should be placed in a stockpot or a 3-quart pot. If you find that you have slightly more or less than 4 cups of potatoes, don't fret; this variation is absolutely fine.

Proceed by peeling and dicing the carrots to a similar size as the potatoes, and add them to the same pot.

Next, mash and mince a clove of garlic and introduce it to the pot.

Pour 3 cups of water into the pot containing the potatoes and carrots. The water should just barely cover the vegetables, so you may need to adjust the quantity slightly to achieve this. Keep in mind that we won't be draining these potatoes; this water is an integral part of the soup.

Now, add a heaping tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Base. While the Roasted Chicken flavor is exceptional, the Turkey base offers a rich, savory twist. If Better Than Bouillon is not available, you can substitute it with a couple of teaspoons of bouillon granules or cubes. Be cautious, as these alternatives are typically saltier than the paste.

To enhance the flavor and aroma of the soup, chop about 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, or alternatively, use 1 tablespoon of dried parsley. Add this to the pot.

Finally, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kosher salt over the mixture. Bring the combination to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium to maintain a steady simmer. Vent the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes. You'll know the potatoes and carrots are ready when they are very tender and can be easily smashed with a fork. Once achieved, remove the pot from the heat.

Using a potato masher, gently mash the mixture to your preferred texture. Whether you like your soup velvety with some chunks, completely chunky, or ultra-smooth, it's entirely up to you. For a super-smooth finish, consider using an immersion blender.

2. Preparing the Creamy Sauce (Bechamel)

While your vegetable base is simmering, take a separate 2-quart pot or a larger one and melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted, add 1/2 cup of flour and use a whisk to blend them into a paste. Add 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper to the mixture. Continue cooking this mixture for 1-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually introduce the 4 cups of milk, adding 1 cup at a time. Use the whisk to fully incorporate the milk into the roux (a mixture of butter and flour) each time you add more. This should take a few minutes to complete. Pouring in all the milk at once can lead to flour chunks in your soup, so avoid this by adding it gradually. 

Once all the milk is incorporated, continue stirring frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom. Maintain the heat at medium. Wait until the mixture reaches a boil, with consistent bubbles rising from the center, and then let it boil for 1 minute while stirring. After this, remove the pot from the heat.

3. Bringing It All Together

Pour the white sauce (bechamel) into the pot with the prepared vegetables. Use a spatula to ensure that every bit of the delicious sauce is added. Stir the entire mixture together until it reaches a harmonious consistency.

4. Serving and Garnishing

Serve this heartwarming potato soup while it's warm. For a delightful finishing touch, garnish it with extra chopped parsley, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped green onions.

5. Storing Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. However, avoid freezing this soup, as potatoes tend to absorb a lot of moisture, causing the white sauce to separate and the texture to become grainy. Enjoy your creamy potato soup and perhaps consider sharing it with a friend for a cozy get-together filled with delicious soup and heartwarming stories. After all, shouldn't that be a tradition worth savoring?