Ready to discover the heartwarming essence of Irish cuisine? A big bowl of Irish potato soup can help you do that.
This delicious dish is the ultimate comfort food. It’s full of potatoes, onions, celery, and bacon in a cream-based broth.
This traditional Irish dish is smooth, creamy, and flavorful. It blends the rustic simplicity of potatoes and onions with a touch of culinary finesse.
It’s an everyday staple in many Irish homes. Once you try it, you’ll want to work it into your regular rotation, too.
Irish Potato Soup
There are dozens of recipes for Irish potato soup online. It’s one of the most popular potato soup varieties out there. But this one is my favorite.
I love it because of how simple it is. It allows you to maximize your soup’s flavor without spending a ton of money on ingredients. (Or a lot of time in the kitchen.)
It’s a creamy, flavorful soup with only five ingredients plus salt and pepper. It’s simple, hearty, and an excellent dish for warming your belly on a cold night.
It’s a guaranteed hit, no matter when you serve it. Even kids can’t resist this soup!
For a soup, this recipe requires surprisingly few ingredients, only five! They are:
- Bacon. Some Irish potato soup recipes don’t include bacon, but this one does. After all, bacon makes everything taste better, including this soup. Cook the bacon first and reserve the grease to cook the veggies.
- Onion and celery. There aren’t many veggies in this soup. However, onions and celery both have robust, distinct flavors. Luckily, that means the soup is super flavorful without requiring many ingredients.
- Potatoes. Opt for large, sturdy potatoes like Russets or Yukon golds.
- Evaporated milk. The evaporated milk will mix with the water to boil the potatoes to make the broth. It’s surprisingly creamy and rich.
Be sure to season the soup with salt and pepper to suit your taste, as well.
How to Make Irish Potato Soup
Here are the steps for making this soup:
1. Cook the bacon. Use a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meat for 10 minutes, then drain the bacon on paper towels. Crumble it and set it aside.
2. Cook the veggies. Add the onion and celery to the skillet with the bacon grease. Cook over medium heat until the onions are tender, then drain the skillet.
3. Boil the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the skillet. Cover them with water, leaving only an inch of the potatoes visible. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer them for about 15 minutes.
4. Add the milk. Pour in the evaporated milk and stir frequently. Continue cooking until the soup is warmed through.
5. Season and serve. Finally, season the soup with salt and pepper, and add the bacon crumbles. Serve it and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Potato Soup
A simplistic soup like this doesn’t require many tips. Even so, keeping these in mind will help you make the best soup possible:
- Make it creamier. Use an immersion blender to ensure your soup is as creamy as possible. You can also transfer it to a food processor and blend it. Just be sure you don’t over-blend the soup and make it gummy.
- Use starchy potatoes. As mentioned, Russet and Yukon gold potatoes work best for this recipe. However, you can substitute them with any starchy potato.
- Keep it vegan-friendly. To make this soup vegan-friendly, leave out the bacon. Cook the veggies in oil instead of bacon grease. You also need to replace the evaporated milk. Here are some great evaporated milk substitutes you can try.
- Thin the soup when reheating. After sitting in the fridge, Irish potato soup can get pretty thick. Add a splash of chicken broth while reheating to help thin it out.
- Thicken thin soup. Typically, this soup is thick enough without any extra work. However, if it comes out too thin, add a roux made from a tablespoon of flour and 1/4 cup of broth.
- Add minced garlic. Toss it in while sauteing the onion and celery. Doing so gives you an even more robust, earthy flavor.
Because this soup is so simple, you can easily customize it and make it your own. Try one of these variations:
- Use broth for more flavor. Adding evaporated milk to water creates a nice, creamy broth. However, you can replace one of the cans with chicken or beef broth for more flavor.
- Make it authentic. Use leeks instead of onions for a more authentic version of this recipe.
- Add herbs. Fresh or dried herbs are another way to add extra flavor. Try garlic, rosemary, thyme, or even dill. You can also add red pepper flakes or cayenne for some heat.
- Up the veggies. This soup’s simple combination of potatoes, onions, and celery is fantastic. That doesn’t mean you can’t add more veggies, though. Try carrots, spinach, kale, zucchini, and more.
- Bulk it up with some dumplings. Are you a chicken and dumplings fan? Try adding some homemade dumplings to this soup. It makes it even more hearty and filling.
- Remember to garnish. I love soup garnishes. They’re an easy way to add texture and flavor, making the soup look better. I’ve used everything from chives, scallions, and croutons to extra bacon and sour cream on this soup!
I like to serve soup with sandwiches, bread, or salads. Here are a few great options for pairing with your Irish potato soup:
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Ina Garten Chicken Salad
- 1905 Salad
- Ina Garten Greek Salad
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Fried Bologna Sandwich
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls
- Condensed Milk Bread
For more serving suggestions, check out my article, “What to Serve with Potato Soup.”
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze
Irish potato soup tastes best when fresh, but that doesn’t mean you have to trash your leftovers. You can store them for up to 5 days in the fridge.
To Store: Let the soup cool fully first, then transfer it to an air-tight container. Seal the container, and pop the soup in the fridge.
To Reheat: To reheat the soup, do so on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Or pop it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on high power.
To Freeze: Your final option is to freeze your leftover soup. Follow these steps to do that:
- Let the soup cool completely.
- Transfer it to a freezer-safe, air-tight container.
- Leave at least an inch of space at the top of the container.
- Date, label, and freeze the soup for 3 to 5 months.
Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight, then reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
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