Irish potato soup uses simple ingredients, which in years gone by were easily available in rural Irish kitchens.
When I say this soup is easy to make, I really mean it. There are only seven ingredients – potato, onion, butter, stock, cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
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Traditional Irish Potato Soup Recipe
My recipe today is for a very traditional Irish potato soup. It’s made simply, with potatoes and onions, but trust me it’s a creamy potato soup that has stood the test of time.
You may be more familiar with an Irish potato and leek soup. But many Irish housewives skipped the leeks and made a simple potato soup whenever the cupboard was relatively bare.
Butter and cream were consistently available on dairy farms, and if potatoes were not homegrown, a “four stone bag of potatoes” was always on the shopping list.
Potatoes were always readily available in Irish kitchens, so this soup was a staple for many households in years gone by.
And so here’s my recipe for a traditional Irish potato soup.
Ingredients for Traditional Irish Potato Soup
Here’s a quick list of ingredients. Check out the printable recipe at the bottom of this post for exact quantities. There you can toggle between US and Metric measurements.
- chicken stock or vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to season
- parsley to garnish (optional)
Ingredient Tips and Substitutions
I like to make this suoup with Russet potatoes. There’s no flour in this soup, acting as a thickening agent, so you want to choose a starchy or floury potato, as we call them in Ireland. Russets are the best.
You could also use Yukon gold potatoes or baking potatoes, although the texture will be slightly different when you use waxier Yukon golds.
Heavy whipping cream is used to make this soup extra smooth and delicious. If you like a tangier taste, you could substitute a little sour cream for some of the heavy whipping cream.
I use parsley to garnish this soup, but you could use chopped green onions or chives instead. A little grated cheddar cheese is delicious as a garnish with chopped green onions or chives. If you like a sharp cheddar cheese, then choose Dubliner Irish cheddar.
I only use regular onions for flavor in this soup. This is the traditional Irish method of making potato soup. You could add some minced garlic with the onion, if you prefer a more pronounced flavor.
Vegetable broth is used for a vegetarian soup, but you can use chicken broth if you like how it enhances the flavor.
The only spices in this soup are salt and pepper (around here were refer to these seasonings as Irish spices.
You’ll also note this soup is made without any herbs added to the stock, only as a garnish. Feel free to experiment with a sprig of thyme or rosemary. They add another level of flavor to the finished soup.
Cooking Directions for Potato Soup
Here you’ll find a step-by-step photo tutorial, plus don’t forget there’s a printable recipe card at the end of this post.
There, you’ll find nutritional information, plus you can toggle between US and Metric equivalents for ingredient quantities.
Prepare the Vegetables
The first step is to prepare the vegetables.
Peel and dice the onion into small pieces.
Peel the potatoes and dice them into pieces about ¼ inch cubed.
You don’t have to be precise, since the soup is eventually puréed.
Sweat the Potatoes and Onions
Melt the butter in a large soup pot and toss in the diced onions. This soup is great when made in a dutch oven too.
Cook the diced onions for about a minute.
Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes over medium heat.
Shake the pot every few minutes to ensure the vegetables don’t stick. Do not brown the onions.
You can learn more about sweating vegetables in my soup making tips post.
Adding Stock to the Soup
Add the chicken stock and bring to boiling point. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. It’s important not to boil this soup over a high heat – a low slow simmer is key to success.
If you wish you can use vegetable stock for this soup to create a vegetarian soup.
It’s also gluten free, since no flour is used to thicken this soup.
Blend the Soup for a Smooth Texture
Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool, before using an immersion blender to purée it. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can whizz it in batches in a blender or liquidizer.
In years gone by, there were no hand gadgets to help make a smooth soup. Back then the soup would have been allowed to cool, then passed through a sieve and smushed to make it smooth.
This process may have needed to be repeated a few times to make the soup as smooth as possible.
Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reheat the soup to serve.
I like a good sprinkling of pepper on this soup, and a little bit of parsley is a lovely garnish.
Freshly ground black pepper works great.
I hope you enjoy this easy soup. It has a very creamy texture, and is not a gritty potato soup.
Brown bread is the perfect accompaniment to a good bowl of Irish soup.
Irish Potato Soup Recipe Card
Here’s the printable recipe using American cup and Metric measurements. Simply click the tab you prefer, just below the ingredient list. You can print either version.
Traditional Irish Potato Soup
- 1 large onion
- 3 medium potatoes
- 2 ounces butter
- 4 cups chicken stock use vegetable stock for a vegetarian soup
- ½ cup cream
- salt and pepper to season
- parsley to garnish
- Peel and dice the onion and potatoes.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
- Add the onion and cook for one minute coating completely in butter.
- Add the potatoes and toss well with the onion and melted butter.
- Cover the saucepan and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes, shaking the pot every few minutes to prevent sticking.
- Pour in the stock and simmer the soup for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool, Purée the soup using a hand held blender or in batches in a blender.
- Add the cream and mix well together.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Reheat to serve, and garnish with a swirl of cream and parsley.
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.
This may not be a loaded baked potato soup, but I can safely say it is one of the best potato soup recipes in the world.
Happy soup making to all.
Here are some more soups you might enjoy.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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