This 4 Ingredient Potato Soup is so simple, creamy, and delicious. You'll be amazed at how rich and flavorful a soup made with only potatoes, onion, milk, and butter can be. Coming together in just 30 minutes, this quick and easy potato soup is sure to be a new comfort food favorite.
Potato soup is like a warm, delicious hug. Rich, hearty, and oh-so-satisfying, I love digging into a big bowl of creamy potato soup on a chilly fall day.
In the classic version, the puréed spuds are often combined with bacon fat, cheese, sour cream, and other ingredients. While these recipes are delicious, my goal with this 4 Ingredient Potato Soup recipe was to make a simplified version of the classic.
I was inspired when I pulled a bunch of potatoes and small onions from my garden and needed to use them up. The results are a simple, yet flavorful potato soup that can be eaten as is or used as a blank canvas for some tasty toppings.
So, next time you're craving something cozy and comforting for dinner, give my 4 Ingredient Potato Soup recipe a try.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy- If you're looking to get dinner on the table fast, this soup is your answer. From start to finish, you can have dinner served in just about 30 minutes.
- Only 4 Ingredients- All you need is a few potatoes, an onion, a little milk, and some butter and you've got yourself a simple, yet flavorful meal.
- Classic Comfort Food- Potato soup is the perfect recipe to make during the fall and winter. When there's a chill in the air and you're craving a creamy, delicious bowl of comfort food, this old-fashioned potato soup has your back.
- Endless Topping Options- The best part about this 4 ingredient potato soup are all of the toppings you can add. Think of this potato soup like a blank canvas and the toppings are your paint. Get creative!
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Potatoes- I used Yukon Gold potatoes that I grew in my garden this summer. Any medium to high starch potato, such as yellow potatoes or russets, will work well in this 4 Ingredient Potato Soup.
- Onion- Another vegetable I grew in my garden this year, yellow onions are a fantastic, all-purpose onion. They lend a sweet, mellow onion flavor to the soup.
- Milk- I opted for 2% milk to keep things on the lighter side, but whole milk, skim milk, or even cream can be used in its place.
- Butter- Of course, butter and potatoes go together like peanut butter and jelly. The creamy, buttery flavor pairs perfectly with the simple, delicious potato.
Sustainability Tip: Interested in growing your own potatoes in your garden? It's super fun and easy! Here is a guide to help get you started.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this 4 Ingredient Potato Soup.
Step 1: Sauté the onion. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to sizzle, add in the diced onion. Sauté the onion until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
Step 2: Cook the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the butter and onion and stir to coat. Add two cups of water and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat, but do not drain the excess water.
Step 3: Mash the potatoes. Using a fork, potato masher, immersion blender, or blender, mash the potatoes until they reach your desired texture (they will look a little like mashed potatoes at this point). Be careful not to overwork the potatoes, especially if you use an immersion blender or regular blender, as this could result in a gluey consistency (see tips below). It's okay if you leave a few chunks of potato in the soup.
Step 4: Simmer the soup and serve. Stir in the milk, salt, and pepper and return the pot to the stovetop. Simmer the soup over low heat for an additional 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken up a bit. Serve immediately topped with crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onion, if desired.
Tips for the Best Potato Soup
- Choose the right potato variety. Potatoes come in a variety of colors, sizes, and starchiness levels. Some potatoes are more starchy (i.e. less waxy) than others, which means they are less likely to hold their shape when cooked. Therefore, to achieve a smoother, more velvety potato soup, opt for potatoes in the medium to high starch range such as yellow potatoes or russet potatoes.
- Don't over-mix the potatoes. Similar to mashed potatoes, overworking the potatoes in potato soup can lead to an unappealing gluey consistency. When too much potato starch comes into contact with liquid, the starch and liquid form a bond, giving the potato soup a slimy mouthfeel. To avoid this, don't cut the potatoes too small and don't over-mix them. A fork or potato masher is less likely to turn your potatoes into glue. But, if you prefer to use an immersion blender or regular blender, just keep an eye on the consistency of your soup.
Substitutions and Additions
Here are a few ways you can customize this 4 Ingredient Potato Soup recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Potatoes- Swap all or half of the potato for cauliflower for a low-carb option. Other root vegetables, such as parsnips or turnips, would also make excellent substitutes for potatoes.
- Onion- White onion, shallot, or even green onion can all be used in place of the yellow onion. Keep in mind, however, that different onions have different levels of flavor intensity.
- Milk- Any type of milk or cream can be used in this potato soup recipe. If you prefer a brothy soup, try using chicken or vegetable stock in place of the milk.
- Butter- Margarine, dairy-free butter, or olive oil can all be swapped for the butter.
- Dairy-Free (Vegan)- To make this recipe dairy-free and vegan, use dairy-free butter or olive oil in place of the butter. Additionally, swap the milk out for your favorite dairy-free milk.
- Gluten-Free- Luckily for all of my celiac and gluten-sensitive friends, this soup is naturally gluten-free.
- Garlic- A few cloves of minced garlic sautéed alongside the onion would add a delicious garlic flavor to the potato soup. Likewise, a little bit of garlic powder could also be added.
- Herbs- Parsley, thyme, and rosemary would all pair wonderfully with the simple flavors in this soup.
- Bacon- Bacon makes everything better, doesn't it? You can cook a few slices of bacon and then sauté the onion in the rendered fat. This will add a bit of smoky bacon flavor to the soup. Then, take the cooked bacon and crumble it on top to serve.
- Cheese- Add some shredded cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese either as a topping or stir it directly into the soup after you add the milk.
- Sour Cream- Stir a few dollops of sour cream in with the milk to give the soup a bit of a tangy flavor.
What to Serve with 4 Ingredient Potato Soup
One of the best things about potato soup is that it's like a blank canvas. You can easily get creative with the toppings, giving your family the option to mix and match based on their taste preferences. Better yet, invite some of your friends over for a build-your-own-bowl potato soup bar.
While potato soup can certainly be enjoyed all on its own, it's even better when served alongside a few other dishes. Here are a few of my favorite potato soup toppings as well as some suggestions for other dishes to serve with this cozy bowl of goodness.
- Crumbled Bacon
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped Green Onions (Scallions) or Chives
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- Caramelized Onions
- Steamed or Roasted Broccoli
- Sweet Corn
- Hot Sauce
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer- While potato soup can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months, it is not ideal. Potatoes tend to become spongy and grainy after freezing and defrosting, which could change the texture of the soup. If you want to try freezing potato soup, I recommend freezing it in individual portions for easier defrosting and reheating.
How to Reheat
- Stovetop- Add any leftover potato soup to a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add a splash of milk, water, or broth if the soup seems too thick. Heat until the soup just begins to simmer.
- Microwave- Using a microwave-safe bowl or container, heat individual portions of leftover potato soup for approximately 1-2 minutes on high, stirring halfway through.
Frequently Asked Questions
When determining the best potato for potato soup, it's important to look at the starchiness of different varieties of potato. If you prefer a smooth, creamy potato soup, a high starch potato like a russet potato would be perfect. On the other hand, if you like a little texture in your soup and plan to leave some chunks of potato, a medium starch potato such as a Yukon Gold would be better.
If the consistency of your potato soup turned out slimy and gluey, there may be a couple of reasons. If too much starch is allowed to leach out into the water, you may be left with an undesirable gluey, gummy consistency in your potato soup. To prevent this, don't cube the potatoes too small (about 1-inch cubes are perfect) and avoid overworking the potatoes when you blend them.
It depends on the type of potato you use and how you like your potato soup. Russet potatoes should always be peeled because their skin is thicker and more fibrous. Potatoes with thinner skin, such as Yukon Gold and Red Bliss potatoes, don't have to be peeled if you enjoy a more chunky, rustic-style soup.
4 Ingredient Potato Soup
- 6-quart dutch oven or large stock pot
- Immersion blender or potato masher optional
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Crumbled bacon
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Green onions sliced
- Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to sizzle, add in the diced onion. Sauté the onion until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes.6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 large yellow onion
- Add the diced potatoes to the pot with the onion. Pour in the water and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat, but do not drain the excess water.6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, 2 cups water
- Using a fork, potato masher, immersion blender, or blender, mash the potatoes until they reach your desired texture (they will look a little like mashed potatoes at this point). Be careful not to overwork the potatoes, especially if you use an immersion blender or blender, as this could result in a gluey consistency.
- Stir in the milk, salt, and pepper and return the pot to the stovetop. Simmer the soup over low heat for an additional 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken up a bit. Serve immediately topped with crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onion, if desired.2 cups 2% milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.