Grandma’s Old Fashioned Potato Soup

Grandma’s potato soup recipe is so comforting and perfect when trying to capture some of those familiar childhood feelings. The best potato soup recipe has simple ingredients, and it is a great soup for a winter day.

You can create a bowl of soul-satisfying soup with russet potatoes, butter, and evaporated milk. In about 45 minutes, this simple potato soup will be made, I just know it will be a family favorite that tastes like it came from Grandma’s kitchen. 

Homemade Grandma's old-fashioned potato soup in two bowls.

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Homemade Potato Soup – The Easiest and Tastiest

Homemade potato soup should not be a complicated recipe. This easy potato soup recipe is made with basic ingredients and is comfort food you will love. Who doesn’t love it when their favorite soup is easy to make?

Grandma’s Potato Soup is the perfect way to warm up!

There is nothing as good as a delicious bowl of homemade potato soup. Potato soup is easy to make and perfect for the beginner and the experienced cook alike.

Before you make this fantastic bowl of soup sure to leave me a comment down below and share the best dish your grandmother made for you!

Old Fashioned Potato Soup Ingredients

  • Russet potatoes – this pantry staple breaks down into a creamy bowl of soup, Yukon golds are a great second choice
  • Evaporated milk – evaporated milk gives you the richness of heavy cream without all of the fat
  • Whole milk – don’t use fat-free or 2% milk they don’t hold up when you reheat the soup
  • Unsalted butter – this way you can control the salt, regular salted butter is a good substitute but it depends on what you have on hand
  • White onion – you can use yellow onions if that is what you have on hand, but I think the great flavors of chopped white onions are perfect for this recipe.
  • Garlic juice – you can use two or three teaspoons of finely minced fresh garlic if you desire fresh garlic is an easy substitution garlic juice
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper – freshly cracked is best

This soup does not use chicken broth or vegetable broth. You could substitute the water in the recipe with either, but my grandma loved easy recipes with a few simple ingredients, this homemade soup fits that bill.

Grandma's old-fashioned potato soup ingredients on a wood board.

What is the best kind of potato to use for potato soup?

Some potatoes aren’t good for making potato soup. It’s a fact that all potatoes are not created equal, and some kinds of potatoes can turn your soup into a thick, gluey mass. My grandmother used Idaho or russet potatoes, and she knew best.

One Potato for the Pot Explained

It was a tradition when feeding a group of people to allow one potato per person plus one for the pot. It meant that you had enough food but not too much. You prepare the “pot” potato along with the other potatoes.

What is Garlic Juice?

This recipe uses garlic juice, but you can substitute chopped or pressed garlic. Garlic juice is reputed to have many health benefits, and you can even make your garlic juice. While researching how to make garlic juice, I came across a gadget called a garlic peeler that makes it very easy to peel garlic.

How do you make potato soup?

It’s easy to make potato soup from scratch. Here are the steps for this old-fashioned potato soup recipe:

  1. Peel and cut potatoes and place the chunks of potatoes in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add milk, evaporated milk, and aromatic vegetables like celery and onions.
Cooking old-fashioned potato soup in a large pot.
  1. Cook the potatoes until fork tender.
  2. Blend with an immersion blender for a deliciously thick and creamy soup.
Grandma's old-fashioned potato soup in two bowls and two spoons.

How do you make potato soup thicker?

You can easily thicken potato soup by adding a mixture of flour and butter that is blended together. By blending equal amounts of butter and flour together, you create a powerful thickener that turns a thin soup into a creamy soup you will love.

Why do you add flour to potato soup?

It will depend on the recipe. This recipe does not have flour in it. You could thicken the soup if you like. If you want to thicken this with flour, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of flour to 1 tablespoon of butter, and mix the flour and butter together, then drop this into the soup while it is near the end of the cooking process, and stir until it thickens.

Variations on this Homemade Potato Soup Recipe

Thanks to my readers for these suggestions:

  • Throw in a couple of bay leaves and sprinkle some fresh chives on top.
  • Use green onions instead of regular onions.
  • Add a bit of salty taste with some bacon bits.
  • Sprinkle some Kraft Three Cheese Blend on top.
  • You can add a dollop of sour cream

What goes with potato soup?

Potato soup is filling so light sides are your best options. A simple garden salad and homemade breadsticks make a complete meal.

Can you make this recipe for homemade potato soup ahead?

You can make potato soup ahead of time, potato soup reheats very well. The best way to heat up potato soup is to heat it up gently on the stovetop over low heat.

How to Store Homemade Potato Soup

  • Refrigerating: Refrigerate the soup in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze the soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months before serving. This is a good soup to freeze. You never know when you need a delicious bowl of soup.

How to Reheat Old Fashioned Potato Soup

Potato soup can be such a hearty soup, and it is perfect for lunch or dinner!

  • If the soup is frozen – You can simply put the frozen soup in a medium or large-sized pot, and heat over low temperature until the soup is thawed. Then reheat it at medium temperature until it is heated through.
  • If the soup is refrigerated – Place it in a medium or large-sized pot and heat over medium heat, until the soup is heated through.
Overhead view of Grandma's old-fashioned potato soup, a spoon, and rolls.

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Homemade Grandma's old-fashioned potato soup in two bowls.

Grandma’s Potato Soup

Sometimes there is nothing better than a bowl of homemade old-fashioned potato soup. 
4.80 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grandma’s potato soup recipe, Potato Soup, Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 282kcal


  • 4 Russet potatoes (Idaho or Russet potatoes are recommended) (This is a total of 5 potatoes)
  • 1 potato for the pot
  • 15 ounces evaporated milk
  • 15 ounces whole milk
  • 15 ounces water
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


  • Peel and chop 4 potatoes into bite-sized chunks and place into a medium-sized stockpot. Place the 1 peeled potato into the pot. 
  • Add evaporated milk and fill up empty can with each whole milk and water. 
  • Add butter, allow to melt. Add chopped celery, onion, chopped garlic, sea salt, and pepper. 
  • Stir until well blended.
  •  Cook on low or simmer until potatoes are soft. 
  • DO NOT allow soup to boil.
  • If desired top with fresh or dried herbs, cheese, crumbled cooked bacon. 



  • Serve potato soup cold during the summer! Vichyssoise is cold potato soup!
  • Do not use potatoes that have a green tinge to them, they are past their prime!
  • The soup is best consumed 2 or 3 days after it is made!
  • The flavor of potato soup is enhanced by any buttered sweet roll or dinner roll. 
This potato soup is made with evaporated milk and many thanks go to hyjinx for sharing the recipe.


Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 361mg | Potassium: 760mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 11.3mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Michelle Prall

    5 stars
    Very good! Used red potatoes cause that is all I had. I smashed the potato some. Should make your soup thicker. Great flavors, creamy, rich buttery. Love it!

  2. Sandra Alley

    4 stars
    I have been making soups from scratch for well over forty years, taught by both my Mom and Grandma. Early on, I discovered that gently sauteeing the aromatics for any soup, and include the diced potatoes for potato soup, greatly increases the flavor of the final product. I highly recommend this step. Just do it in the dutch oven or saucepan that you are using to make the soup, then just add the broth and other ingredients and finish simmering.

  3. Cheryl Burdan

    There is such a thing as garlic juice. I always keep that and onion juice in the cupboard. It’s usually in the spice area. Look for Howard’s brand. Usually 2 oz bottle.

  4. Julia Mason

    I make this but I don’t blend We like the the texture of the potato chunks. I also like to serve it it with cornbread baked in the oven in a cast iron skillet.

  5. Kelly

    5 stars
    I was so happy when I found this! My Mom passed and I had no idea how to make her potato soup. I just knew what she used but not how much etc. I’ve made this a couple times now and the only things I do different is add fresh chives on top and throw a couple bay leaves in the pot, it is an exact replica of hers, it is so good and its a great comfort food for me! Thank you so very much for posting!!

    • Stephanie Manley

      Some places sell garlic juice. You can substitute for chopped garlic, I would add about a teaspoon or more depending upon your personnel preference.

  6. Jofam

    I cooked this soup tonight! My husband just had stomach surgery so can only eat liquids at this point. I would like to know the calorie content, if available. Very good soup!

  7. Dan

    5 stars
    Well let me share my experience with this soup.

    In a nutshell I put all the ingredients in the pot. Cooked at high until the mixture started to get hot and them changed to low and let it cook for a while (around 60 minutes).

    The whole potato in the pot works to help you to know when the soup is ready. When the whole potato is soft and breaks apart the soup is ready to eat.

    I added some bacon bits to it. I have to add some salt to taste in my bowl and a sprinkle of Kraft Three Cheese Blend on top. It tasted good.

    I live alone and was saving some of the soup when I noted a layer of oil on top of the tupperware. This is definitely not a low fat food.

  8. Kyla

    if it helps, that’s how all the women in my family – mom plus aunt, plus grandmas on both sides – calculated how many potatoes for soup or mashed. You counted the number of people you were serving, assigned one potato each, “plus one for the pot;” i.e. just a smidgen more to make sure you had enough but not too much. You don’t put it in whole, it’s prepared along with the other potatoes. it’s just an aid to figuring out how much to make. For instance, I have three people coming for dinner, plus myself and my spouse. That’s five people, so I’d fix mashed potatoes with six potatoes – one for each of the five people eating plus one for the pot.

    • Jackie Canuck

      I’ve been cooking for 50 years, many of those for a big family, but I’ve never heard this expression “one for the pot” – good to know! Always more to learn, eh? ps-I think that’s a celery STALK 😉

      • Bonzo

        5 stars
        I made this soup yesterday. Excellent soup! I assumed the fifth potato let me know when the soup was ready and mashed it with a fork and put it back in the soup. Worked for me. I might use less butter next batch, or not.

  9. Steve

    I assume the onion goes in with the rest of the celery, garlic juice salt and pepper?
    I have updated this recipe for additional clarity ~stephanie

  10. Beverly

    I’m still confused about the 1 potato for the pot?

    Beverly, I am sorry this may have been confusing. Someone’s Grandma wrote this, and I can’t ask her why she wrote it that way anymore. Can you think of it as a total of 5 potatoes for this recipe? ~Stephanie

    • Stephanie

      What a wonderful question, you are so right some potatoes aren’t good for making potato soup with. My grandmother used idaho or russet potatoes. I’ll be sure to update the recipe!

      • Dr. Ruth

        4 stars
        Oddly enough, russets from Idaho are extremely hard to find in the NE MId-Atlantic area of the country. I make rebakes because the grandchildren love them. I have to go to five stores sometimes to get the potatoes with the state of Idaho on the bag. The ones grown around here taste like wallpaper paste and aren’t worth cooking. Idaho potatoes are in ads on TV all the time, even the Super Bowl. They are scarce here, oddly the last three times I found them at Walmart.

  11. Sherry

    What is the purpose of one whole potato in the pot? Just curious because it never gave any instructions on when to put it in the pot.

    • Tammt

      I believe it is so it can be removed and smashed and then added back into the soup to thicken it. My mother always smashed some of the diced potatoes after it had cooked, to do the same thing, but I like this idea better.

4.80 from 20 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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