This lightened up version of potato soup is one creamy, delicious bowl of comfort food that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
Made from scratch and flavored with yellow onions sautéed in butter, my tasty potato soup recipe only takes 30 minutes start to finish!
It really is possible to make delicious, thick and creamy potato soup with less cream!
Most potato soup recipes call for using whole milk or heavy cream which contribute to more calories. My version only uses one cup of milk, yet it’s still flavorful and creamy without a ton of calories.
To compare, this lightened up potato soup is just 192 calories per bowl while loaded potato soup averages 335 calories per serving. What’s even better? It tastes delicious! Go grab a spoon!
Old-Fashioned Potato Soup: behind the recipe
If you’re like me, you probably have fond memories of your grandma’s potato soup. Laden with plenty of butter and cream, potato soup was equally comforting AND filling on cold, snowy days.
Consuming all those calories to head out to play in the snow was just fine, but now not so much. The problem is I don’t burn calories at the same rate as I did back then! That’s why I set out to trim a few calories and make my potato soup recipe a little healthier.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Potatoes — I prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for soup because their texture is naturally creamy, however you may use any other white potato in this recipe.
- Butter — Yes, I use butter for flavor, but less of it!
- Onion — Every savory dish starts with onion! Feel free to use frozen chopped onions to save time if you like.
- Chicken broth — Instead of all milk, use chicken broth for most of the liquid to trim calories without sacrificing flavor.
How to make potato soup from scratch
STEP 1 | Saute onions
- Start by melting butter and olive oil over medium heat in either a soup pot or a large Dutch oven.
- Cook diced yellow onions until tender and then stir in chopped garlic and fresh thyme leave and cook another minute or so until the mixture is fragrant. This starts building a base of delicious flavor for the soup.
STEP 3 | Cook the potatoes
- Pour in the chicken broth and add the potatoes and bring it all to a boil, cooking for about 10 minutes. You want to cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender so that they will mash up easily.
- Reduce the heat to a low simmer and use a potato masher or an immersion blender to cream up the potatoes, leaving some small chunks.
- I like to prep potatoes ahead of time and let them soak in water in the refrigerator until I’m ready to put this soup together. Sometimes, I’ll even peel and dice potatoes the day before. The potatoes will not turn brown as long as they are completely covered with water and refrigerated. When ready to cook, drain off the starchy water and give them a quick rinse.
STEP 3 | Thicken the soup & serve
- Whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch into a cup of 2% milk and pour it into the simmering soup. Cook for another few minutes until the soup becomes thick and creamy.
- At this point, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with more fresh thyme leaves and freshly cracked black pepper.
“Delicious and easy. This recipe is a keeper.”
Lighten it up!
Grandma’s recipe included a whole stick of butter and a mixture of whole milk and cream. Yes, it was delicious, but it was rich and heavy in calories, too. Here’s how I trim calories and make my potato soup recipe a little healthier:
- Use a mixture of butter and extra-virgin olive oil for the fat (just two tablespoons each).
- Peel and cut the potatoes and let them soak in cool water to remove some of the starch. This helps eliminate a few carbs.
- Drain and rinse the potatoes, then cook them in low-sodium chicken broth to add flavor.
- Only use 1 cup of 2% milk.
Frequently asked questions
Yukon Gold are the potatoes I prefer for this recipe because of their waxy, creamy texture. Idaho potatoes are also a good choice for plain potato soup with their neutral potato flavor and fluffy texture.
Traditional potato soup recipes use whole milk, enriched evaporated milk, or heavy cream to thicken the soup. This lightened up version is thickened by whisking a tablespoon of cornstarch into a cup of milk, then adding it to the simmering pot of soup. Continue cooking another five minutes or until the soup is thick and creamy.
This soup is delicious served with a piece of crusty bread for soaking up all the yummy potato broth.
You can also serve Old-Fashioned Potato Soup topped with a dollop of lite sour cream, bacon crumbles, and shredded cheddar cheese for a lighter version of baked potato soup.
More Winter soup recipes
- Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup
- Pork Meatball and Wild Rice Soup
- Skinny Taco Soup
- Easy-Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Italian Potato Broccoli Soup
- 30-Minute Beefy Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2-1/2 lbs. peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes, about 5 cups
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot until the butter is foamy.
- Add diced onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender and translucent. Stir in the chopped garlic and fresh thyme leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and diced potatoes to the pot. After the mixture begins to boil, cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Turn down the heat and use a potato masher to coarsely mash the potatoes, leaving some bigger chunks.
- Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch into the cup of milk with a fork, then add it to the pot of soup. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the soup is thickened and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with more fresh thyme, if desired.
- Yukon Gold are the potatoes I prefer for this recipe because they have a creamy texture when they are cooked. However, this recipe will also work with other varieties of potatoes.
- Serve this potato soup topped with a dollop of lite sour cream, bacon crumbles and cheese for a lighter version of baked potato soup.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 754mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.