Irish-Style Potato Onion Soup

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
323 Calories
17g Fat
31g Carbs
12g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 323
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 479mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 139mg 11%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 838mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Thick and rich Irish soups and stews are beloved dishes that stem from centuries of culinary tradition. Filling and flavorful, these dishes are served in restaurants and pubs all over the country and made with family recipes in kitchens all over Ireland. Though the variations are infinite, and plenty of versions of the same dish appear left and right, what all these soups and stews have in common are the basic ingredients they all might contain in one form or the other: potatoes, onions, leeks, root vegetables, rich dairy, and all sorts of land and sea proteins. Our potato and onion recipe is thanks to the famous chef Jeff Smith. It's a wonderfully creamy soup made with a base of chicken stock, and herbs, and thickened with roux. Topped with fresh chives and crispy bacon, this is a one-of-a-kind, one-bowl meal. Quickly made in just 35 minutes, it makes an easy weeknight dinner. Keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to two days and reheat on the stove, adding more chicken stock as needed.

With infinite possible combinations, Irish soups warm bellies during cold winter months and make budget-friendly meals. This soup is meant to be blended, so the potatoes need to be cooked to soft perfection before being processed. We recommend using Yukon Gold, russets, or fingerlings, as they add a lot of creaminess to the soup. No matter the potato you choose, peel and cut in even slices to ensure the cooking time of all slices stays the same. This is a dairy-full recipe, and it contains gluten. For a gluten-free version, be sure the chicken stock you are using is indeed gluten free (many broths have wheat-based ingredients used as thickeners) and simply make the roux with a gluten-free all-purpose flour that converts in a 1:1 ratio to conventional wheat flours.

Skip the bacon for a vegetarian version, or add chopped sautéed prawns (four to five large ones per person) or diced cooked lobster (about 3 ounces per person) for a more elegant take on this flavorful dish. Usually served with thick slices of bread, the soup goes well with warm slices of Irish soda or Veda bread, or some blaa rolls—plenty of butter is welcomed too.


  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced

  • 3 cups milk

  • 5 1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store bought

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, whole

  • 1 cup light cream

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 6 slices lean bacon, crisply fried and chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat a 6- to 8-quart stockpot, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and onions, and cook gently. Do not let the onions brown. Add the peeled and sliced potatoes, milk, and chicken stock. Add 1/4 cup of the chives, celery seeds, and thyme. Cover and cook gently for about an hour.

  3. In a small saucepan melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and whisk in the flour. Let the roux bubble for 2 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Thicken the stock with the roux, whisking carefully to avoid lumps. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes and then puree together in a food blender.

  4. Add the cream and gently reheat, but do not boil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives and the crisply fried bacon as garnishes.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

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