Hearty homemade soup gets a festive green colour (and a healthy vitamin boost) from fresh spinach leaves in this easy, filling, low-cost soup that’s long been one of our family’s favorite meals. The soup gets its lovely creamy texture from potatoes, rather than dairy products, so it’s a super choice for the lactose-intolerant and can be easily tweaked to suit vegan tastes, too.
Green Potato Soup Recipe
Here’s the basic Green Potato Soup recipe, and it is pretty darned tasty just like that – but if you’re in the mood to mix it up a little, keep reading for some of ideas for variations on the recipe we like to do from time to time.
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups milk
- 6 cups spinach
- salt & black pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
- Finely dice onions and garlic (I use the chopping attachment on my Cuisinart stick blender, to keep onion tears to a minimum) and sauté gently in butter until soft.
- Peel the potatoes (you don’t need to be too picky – the odd bit of peel left on is healthy and won’t hurt a thing), slice very thin, and add to pot.
- Add the broth, bring to a boil, and cook 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are mushy.
- Stir in milk and spinach.
- Blend until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Serve hot.
On an especially cold night, sometimes we’ll even add a splash of spirits for extra flavour and cheer.
Tasty Additions and Variations for the Basic Soup Recipe
Here are a few easy ideas of ways to jazz up your basic spinach and potato soup:
For extra flavour and to win friends among the meat-lovers in your family, fry up a few slices of bacon before you begin the soup. Reduce the butter by one tablespoon and add in an equal amount of reserved bacon fat. Crumble a bit of cooked bacon on top of each bowl of soup at serving time.
Cut the prep and cooking time by substituting a few cups of leftover mashed potatoes, if you’ve got them on hand, in place of the sliced potatoes that are called for in the recipe.
Other Green Vegetables
If you’ve got kale, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or any other green vegetable left over from another meal (or perhaps starting to show its age in your veggie crisper), go ahead and throw them in. Leafy vegetables should go in at the same time as the spinach, but you’ll want to put broccoli and other veggies with a longer cooking time into the soup pot at the same time as your potatoes.
At serving time, if your guests aren’t teetotallers, you might add just a drop of Irish whiskey to each bowl. With a good thick potato soup, the whiskey will sit on the surface and you can drag a toothpick or the tine of a fork through it to add a bit of visual texture, like in a fancy restaurant.
At serving time, garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of grated cheese – a sharp aged Cheddar is always a good choice, but fresh-grated Parmesan is also delicious.
Potatoes, of course, have a proud and significant place in Irish heritage, culture, and cuisine – and you’ll often find some variation of the Green Potato Soup as a staple warm “comfort food” in many families with Celtic roots.
This exact soup is not strictly a traditional Irish recipe, but more of a modern vitamin-enriched variation, but just the same we like to serve it up with a well-buttered slice of Irish Soda Bread on the side.
Because that’s the way Great-Auntie Nell always served it.
And you know, nothing’s as heart-warming as a hot homemade soup that is also a much-loved family tradition.