Learn how to make warm, comforting onion and potato soup. This classic traditional Irish recipe is the ultimate comfort food.
Trust me - this soup is super easy to make. It’s one worthy of your recipe book. Onions and potatoes are ultra cheap, so this comforting and cozy dish is also very easy on your wallet.
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Irish Soups with Potatoes and Onions
Irish soups with onions and potatoes are very popular. They’re two staple ingredients in every Irish kitchen. You'll find they feature in many of the traditional Irish soup recipes I share here on my blog.
This is a soup I turn to over and over again, especially when I need to buy groceries. I always have onions and potatoes in my pantry, so when I need a warming soup I start chopping and popping them into a big soup pot.
This may be the simplest of all my soup recipes.
Plus this soup tastes even better on the second day. The flavors meld completely and leftovers for lunch the next day are truly delicious.
My version of this soup features chunks of tender potatoes. There's no need to blend this soup smooth. I don't even bother peeling the potatoes - I'm a Cork woman at heart where we're known for eating our spuds "skin and all.
Ingredients and Equipment
Here’s what you’ll need for this Irish soup. You’ll find exact quantities in the recipe card below, where you can toggle between US and Metric equivalents.
- olive oil
- vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to season
A large pot is best for making soup. I love to use a dutch oven for making my soups.
Ingredient Tips and Substitutions
This is a very simple soup that is primarily made with onions and potatoes. You can add additional veggies if you like. Diced celery and carrots are great additions. I don't add any garlic to this soup. I find it overwhelms the flavor of the onion. But it's totally a matter of personal taste.
My recipe does not feature any herbs or spices. We use the Irish spices of salt and pepper!
You could add a few sprigs of fresh thyme when the soup is simmering if you wish, but I like to keep this as simple as possible. Bay leaves could also be used to add some flavor.
You can use any potatoes you have on hand for this soup. It really doesn't matter since I add flour to thicken the soup. Russets and Yukon Golds work great. You can use baby or fingerling potatoes and even leave the skin on. My version was made with russet potatoes.
You can peel the potatoes if you wish, but I often don't bother.
I use a vegetable stock for this soup, but feel free to substitute chicken broth or chicken stock. You can change up the flavor of this soup by trying beef broth or bone broth.
However, I prefer to make a vegetarian version of this soup by sticking to a vegetable broth.
As for equipment, all you need is a big soup pot.
Directions for Potato and Onion Soup
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven on the stove top. For a vegan version of this soup substitute vegan butter or coconut oil for the butter or dairy.
Melt butter completely then add the onions to the pot. Pop the lid on the soup pot and sweat the onions.
Cook the chopped onions for about 8 minutes until softened. Shake the pot every two minutes to prevent the onions sticking to the bottom.
Add the flour to the onions in the pot and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. This is a substitute for making a separate roux for thickening the soup. All purpose flour works fine for this potato soup recipe.
Add the stock gradually, mixing to combine fully with each addition. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the burner up to medium-high heat to bring the broth to simmering point.
Add the diced potatoes and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes. It is important to cook this soup over a medium-low heat. You want it to simmer but not boil vigorously. If the potatoes hop about too much in the stockpot they become very mushy.
The potatoes will break down slightly but still be pretty chunky once the soup is cooked. There's no need to puree this soup.
You can add some heavy cream if you like an extra creamy soup. I find that the flour thickened soup is plenty creamy for me. No need for all those extra calories from dairy.
If you like a less chunky soup, remove half of the soup with big pieces from the pot and blitz the remaining soup with an immersion blender. Then return the textured soup to the pot.
Serve in warmed bowls with crusty buttered bread rolls or cheese toasties. Other garnish suggestions include chopped green onions or chives.
If you're not vegetarian you can garnish the soup with bacon bits.
Serve And Store
If you have any leftovers you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a day or two.
The soup might separate slightly during storage, but simply stir it as you reheat it in a soup pot on the stove over medium-low heat to reconstitute.
I find that potato soups do not freeze well. The texture of the potato changes with cold freezing temperatures. They soak up moisture like a sponge, and can become a little grainy when defrosted.
So my advice for this soup, is to enjoy it when it is first made or within a day or two.
Recipe Card for Irish Onion and Potato Soup
Here's a short video outlining the steps for making this delicious soup.
Here's a free recipe card for your kitchen files.
Onion and Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large onions diced
- 3 tablespoons flour all purpose
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3 large potatoes diced - peeling is optional
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions and cover the pot to sweat the onions. Cook for about 8 minutes until softened. Shake the pot every two minutes to prevent the onions sticking.
- Add the flour to the onions in the pot and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the stock gradually, mixing to combine fully with each addition. Add the diced potatoes and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.
- Serve in warmed bowls with crusty buttered bread rolls or cheese toasties.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Happy soup making.
Here are some more Irish soups you might enjoy.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade