Potato Soup of Many Disguises

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

I don’t mean to offend the lowly potato, but potato soups are boring unless the stock is spectacular or the soup garnishes are innovative. This is a basic and good soup to which you can add the garnish of your choice.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 5 cups sliced peeled russet potatoes
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream, milk, or additional chicken stock


Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, cover the pan, and sweat until translucent. Add the potatoes and stock. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Puree the potatoes and onions with a little of the stock in a blender and stir back into the remaining stock. The soup will be thick. Thin the soup further with the cream, milk, or additional stock after you have decided what kind of soup you are going to serve. Season with salt and pepper, then reheat. Garnish as desired.

French Variations

Puree the hot soup with 4 to 6 cups chopped watercress, or add chopped watercress to the pureed soup when you reheat it. Another idea is to puree the hot soup with 3 cups chopped sorrel leaves. The heat of the soup will set the color of the sorrel so that it remains bright green and doesn’t turn that sad gray-brown color. Alternatively, you can reheat the pureed soup with a chiffonade of sorrel leaves. The sorrel will turn a brownish hue but will taste good.

Italian Variations

Add a chiffonade of arugula and a dice of prosciutto, or some blanched green beans, diced fresh tomatoes, and chopped cooked artichokes when you reheat the soup. Other garnish ideas are diced fresh tomatoes and some chopped fresh basil; a dollop of pesto; chopped fresh sage, majoram, or parsley and diced tomatoes; crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and a few feathery fennel tops; goat cheese, chopped walnuts and fresh basil; or chopped fresh mint and strips of Italian sun-dried tomatoes for a taste of Sardinia.