Irish Potato Soup Recipe: Enjoy the Simple Yet Delicious Flavors of the Emerald Isle!

This Irish potato soup recipe is a staple for anybody wishing to express their Irish side through the food they serve. One of the great things about this delicious dish is the many tasty variations you can try!

Irish Expressions - Irish Potato and Leek Soup

On some occasions you may wish to add all the goodies, such as bacon or even ham, which you don't normally use in Irish potato soup (but we love it).  Leaks or cabbage are also simple, delicious additions to your basic potato soup.

A Bit 'O Background

When you consider the history of the soup, it’s easy to see why certain ingredients are traditional.

Ireland was an agrarian society, with potatoes one of their main crops.  Milk from the farm animals, cheese from the milk and potatoes were part of every housewife’s larder.

Even those who lived in the city often had a garden where they grew green onions and other produce requiring little space.

Soup was a way to extend the food supply and a warm nourishing meal for the family.  In fact, when the Irish potato famine hit, the government provided a daily quota of free potato soup for those in need.

Irish Potato Soup Recipe:  Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter 4 lbs of potatoes, peeled and sliced—although skins on are also good
  • 4 leaks
  • 2 carrots chopped finely
  • 10 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 4 tbsp. light cream Freshly ground black pepper—to taste
  • Salt—to taste
  • Garnish—crisply fried crumbled bacon, chopped chives and shredded cheddar cheese

Irish Potato Soup Recipe:  Preparation

  1. First, you’ll need a large stockpot to hold all the ingredients. You want it big enough to allow for the increase in volume when boiling.
  2. Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat and add the leaks. You’ll cook these until their clear and translucent.
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes and allow just a few seconds for them to coat in the butter
  4. Then add the liquids, milk and stock.
  5. Stir continuously for a few minutes then add the herbs and spices, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper.
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then turn it down to low. You’ll simmer it for approximately an hour. It’s easy to tell when it’s ready, the potatoes and carrots are completely cooked.
  7. Remove the bay leaf.
  8. Process the soup in a blender and return it to the pan for reheating.
  9. Serve with bowls of bacon, shredded cheese and chopped chives available for garnish. You can plan for about two tablespoons of garnish per serving, if you’re presenting the soup buffet style.
  10. If you garnish it before serving, use your best judgment. I like to use a tablespoon of cheese, tsp of chives and two teaspoons of bacon on those I serve. Put the layer of cheese in the center of the bowl, top it with the bacon in the center of the cheese, then the chives sprinkled over the bacon.

Tips and Suggestions

This Irish potato soup recipe is excellent without the addition of bacon, cheese or chives.  You can also add ham in place of bacon or use dried herbs.

Remember, when using dried herbs instead of fresh, you’ll need only one-third the amount, so instead of using a tsp of fresh thyme, you’ll use 1/3 tsp of dried thyme.

You can add extra ingredients too. I like a little chopped kale in mine, but it’s not traditional potato soup.  It’s just delicious potato and kale soup!

This soup tastes wonderful with a glass of Guinness. You’ll feel like you’re eating it right at the pub.

Hungry for More Irish Recipes?

Sharing Irish food is one of our favorite ways to enjoy an Irish experience, wherever in the world we happen to be!  

The flavors of an Irish meal, and the stories that come along with many Irish recipes, gives us a sense of connection with the Emerald Isle.

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Delicious!  Where Can I Find Even More?

At Irish Expressions, our our goal is simple: to provide you with a unique Irish experience, on demand, wherever you are in the world.

If you have enjoyed our section on Irish Food Recipes, you have probably been exposed to many of the most delicious flavors that Ireland has to offer!

Will that entice you to visit Ireland - or to return if you have already been? 

We hope so!  

But even if that is not possible, you can still enjoy the magic of Ireland in these pages.  Check out the links at the top of the page for simple instructions on how to explore Irish landmarks, enjoy Irish food, practice Irish customs, and much more!