Appalachia Appalachian Food

Tater Soup

Old fashioned potato soup
The recent fall temps in my area have made me hungry for a pot of potato soup.

Potato soup

I’ve had potato soup thickened with flour made with onions, made with left over mash potatoes, and for the most part I liked every variation I’ve ever had.

The recipe I use is simple and tasty. I believe I found it in a Country Living magazine, but I’ve made it for many years I’m not really sure where it came from.

Depending on the amount of soup you want you can increase or decrease the ingredients in my recipe very easily. It’s mostly a fool-proof recipe which is the kind I like.

For us to eat and have a bowl or two leftover for the following day I use the quantities below.

the best ever potato soup

  • First I dice up 3 fairly large potatoes and cook them in salted water till tender
  • Drain potatoes and add them back to pot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • add 1/2 cup sour-cream and 1/2 stick of butter to the cooked potatoes
  • Take a potato masher or other utensil and mash the potatoes to your desired consistency, I like chunks left in mine, but I know other folks prefer theirs smooth
  • Once you have the potatoes like you want them and the butter has melted add one cup of milk and heat through

Potato soup like grandmother made
You can fry up some bacon to sprinkle on top of your soup or add shredded cheese. But in my opinion you cannot have a good bowl of potato soup without a cake of cornbread. Crumble some cornbread in a bowl, cover with soup, and sprinkle a few onions on top, pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and you have a feast. A feast that if you’re not careful, in Pap’s words you’ll bust your belly on.



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  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 11, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Mama used to say if you couldn’t eat tater soup you needed the doctor right away. I just cook diced potatoes till tender, salt and pepper, butter and milk or cream. Mash up a few of the taters. Have to have cornbread with it.

    Try this and add some whole kernel corn and a diced jalapeno while its finishing cooking. This is our new favorite! I will even eat it for breakfast if there’s any left!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    My husband is recovering from a cold or allergy attack, so I made tater soup today for lunch, I washed about 3-4 potatoes, didn’t peel just cubed and put in pressure cooker, sliced a small onion, threw in a few baby carrots and some butter, cooked about 20 minutes till soft, when done while still very hot added about 1/2 bag dry cheddar cheese sauce and some no sodium spices also a little garlic powder, It was very good and may make it again soon

  • Reply
    December 25, 2012 at 7:17 am

    I make a quick and easy tater soup, I guess you could call it, Cheater….tater soup….hehe
    I cut up potatoes, onions and boil till tender, then add in cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper, lower the heat and simmer bout 10 minutes….that’s it!….it fast and good
    I like my taters chunky in the soup

  • Reply
    Chip D.
    October 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Tipper how about posting that cornbread recipe? Love to know how you make yours.Tater soup is the best!! Thanks

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

    My wife makes a delicious creamy soup. My mom’s is more liquidy and vinegary and not as much to my liking. I guess I also like my wife’s smothered with cheese…holy moley!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Tipper, if I tell you how I make potato soup your gonna thing I’m lazy. Oh well here it is.
    Peel a potato, peel an onion. Put them in the food processor with a little water and process…to a shredded consistency. Pour into a pot and cook with salt, pepper and butter. Cook about 20 min add some milk and serve.
    Good and easy!

  • Reply
    Toni Hodges
    October 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Tipper,didn’t get a chance to post yesterday but I like your idea for Tater Soup. My recipe is somewhat the same, here it is if anyone would like to try it. Peel and dice potatoes to suit you, one onion and one stalk of celeryand a carrot in a stock pot with enough water to cover. Salt,pepper, and Seasonall to taste. I leave the cooking water, reduced to half then add one stick of butter and about two cups of half and half. Cook till hot throughout and garnish with bacon crumbled and green onion, very tasty. I made some today, yummy.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    October 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    After reading this yesterday, I made it for supper, exactly by your recipe. It was wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe, it is a lot easier than ones I’ve tried before.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Wow, that looks and sounds delicious with the sour cream. I usually make potato and cheese soup, but I think I’ll give your recipe a try next time! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2011 at 1:24 am

    That tater soup looks mighty tasty. For some odd reason I’ve never had home-made but have had it at some restaurants (not half bad). I’ll have to try this recipe out (well, perhaps my wife will 😉
    Enjoyed your post on the family cemetery – there are a number of old cemeteries out in the country here dating back to the early 1800’s – always fascinating to go look and imagine what the lives of those early pioneers were like.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    October 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Looks delicious!
    It’s so good to be here and listen to the music.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    October 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Always make potato and leek soup — leeks give them a little punch and cut the carbs. Equal quantities of each. Saute leeks in butter first, then add chicken broth and potatoes. (Can substitute vegetable stock if you are vegetarian. Cook down and add milk or cream to taste.

  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings
    October 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    YUM! YUM!

  • Reply
    Will Dixon
    October 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I love potato soup. Try throwing in a can of small clams for the best Clam-Potato chowder ever!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    When I lived in Ohio, I used to have my 2 sons and their families over for lunch (dinner) after church. Sometimes all they wanted was a hugh pot of potato soup and grilled cheese. Usually the weather was quite chilly and that soup warmed us as it filled our bellies. I think when we go back to Ohio for a visit, I’ll make some potato soup for all of them again

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Looks and sounds delicious. We have many homegrown taters this year, so this would be a great way to use them. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I haven’t had Tater Soup in years (at least any that was very good). My Momma spoiled me with hers. It was so good or maybe it was just the fact that she made it and we were sitting just across the table from her. It was simple just taters, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. We usually had hot biscuits with the soup. Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    We use a similar recipe for potato/shrimp soup. Just sautee the shrimp and add to the soup. Yum! We sprinkle a bit of sharp cheddar on top.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Oh, that sounds good! I’ll have eto try that recipe!
    I am a fan of potato soup, grew up on it in fact. Hubby and I have it often at this time of year and through the winter.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Gosh do I love potato soup. The best is made with milk, sour cream sounds good too. But the blacksmith doesn’t like milk, so I make icky soup with the potato water.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    October 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    ohh tipper now you done did it .lol
    i am so hungry for that soup im going crazy here.. its a cool monday and perfect for some soup to warm the soul.. thank you as always for your recipes.. and cornbread.. yummmmm a woman after my own heart 🙂
    have a great week!!!
    big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    John Stonecypher
    October 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    That tater soup sure looks good. you need about 5 peaces fat back to go with it. SO GOOD

  • Reply
    Shirley Owens
    October 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Hey Tipper, I make mine with diced up potatoes and onions. Cook until the potatoes are almost mushy but leave a few for lumps. Add evaporated milk, (Mawmaw called it Pet milk), about a whole can. Sometimes I put some little bits of ham off the ham bone (left over from when I bake a ham). Salt and Pepper finishes it off. YUM…It’s so good I don’t even fool with the cornbread, but of course everybody else here in my house wants the bread, too. This time of year all the way to spring is the best time to sip a big cup of Tater Soup and maybe a cup o’ tea.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

    My grandmother used to make potato soup when I came to visit her. She used left over meat grease, salt and lots of pepper, potatoes and water. She also had large pan of cornbread to put in the soup. I loved it. By the way, Paul did a masterful job on that song, “Long Black Veil.” He can sing as well and better than any country singer on the radio.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    To me nothing hits the spot like a
    good bowl of tater soup. When I get back from the grocery store, a
    lot of times I don’t know what to
    fix. But a cake of cornbread and
    tater soup always does the trick.
    The next time I will try the sour
    cream in it. I’m like you, I want
    my taters to have character (some
    chuncks) and especially onions.
    Its one of my favorite things to

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I too love Potato Soup just about any way it’s cooked and there is no doubt about it,it’s just not as good without the cornbread. I’m going to try your recipe soon, I’ve named it Tipper’s Tater Soup. Thanks and as I’ve said before I always love your recipes, I’m hoping one day you will do a Tipper’s cook book and remember I want the first autographed copy.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    October 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Love!! Love!! Tater soup!!
    I usualy make mine by cooking taters in some water, w/celery and onions. When cooked, I add some milk/half n half/cream and thicken it with some flour. I like little chunks in mine.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Tater soup and Cornbread…My birthday meal when I was growing up. When I really wanted to celebrate I’d add pinto beans with pot liqueur to the mix and eat way more than I needed.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    October 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    As usual Tipper you made me hungry with your food posts, now I gotta go eat.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 10, 2011 at 9:35 am

    now I’m wanting tater soup for breakfast!!!!!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    October 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I have cooked it like in the foxfire recipe book-with cornmeal to thicken it. It’s so good !

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    October 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Everything is wonderful with cornbread crumbled in it !!!!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I make my tater soup like this but minus the sour cream, next time i will add some. i like tater soup no matter how it is made and i like mine with big lumps

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

    You have done flung a craving on me!
    I like tater soup but I have never thought to put it over cornbread with onion and bacon.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I add the onions and celery, dash of garlic powder, and right before serving chives. I once got a recipe out of Gatlinburg for a soup thickened with cracker crumbs pounded into a powder, and this added a tasty thickener to cream soups. Ever since I place a few crackers in a plastic bag and crush into a powder, then I add to potato soup, spinach soup, or cream of vegetable soup. It seems to add more taste than the usual flour thickener.
    Most children in my family don’t care for these ole fashioned recipes, and if its not hotdogs , hamburgers, and pizza they won’t eat it. Destroyed their taste buds!

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    October 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I just dice the potatoes and boil till tender then mash a few Harriett likes large chunks of taters I like small and some mashed, I don’t drain taters, I prefer the extra flavor of the tater water. I put salt, pepper, butter, and milk but don’t anything, cook and serve. I want raw onions in mine also. I make turnip soup the same way but I am the only one that will eat it.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Did I hear somebody say cornbread?
    I love any kind of potato soup. A little grated cheddar cheese on top makes it really good. I never poured it over crumbled cornbread before, but it sounds delicious. I will have to try that next time.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 10, 2011 at 7:35 am

    @Donna, your recipe sounds like mine. Tipper I think I am going to try yours with the sour cream, that sounds good. I like shredded cheese on top of my bowl too.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I cook diced potatoes and onion, along with some ham chunks til done. Then i had a package of country gravy mix diluted with a little water to the potatoes to thicken it. This really gives it a good flavor and i don’t mash any of the potatoes. Also can sprinkle grated cheese over top of your serving when ready to eat.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    October 10, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I cook mine pretty well the same as Donna but am going to give yours a try. And thumbs up on eating it with cornbread : )

  • Reply
    October 10, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I love me some good potato soup. Boo won’t eat it either. I always add sour cream, bacon and cheese to mine. Of course, the Captain HAS to have cheese.

  • Reply
    Donna W
    October 10, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I cook the diced potatoes and plenty of onions: some celery if I have it, and a finely diced carrot or two and some parsley just for color. When all that is cooked I smash some of the taters with a fork and add cream or half-and-half and milk and add salt and pepper to taste.

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