The Kitchn: Salt and vinegar potato soup is cozy, comforting and so much fun
Inspired by salt and vinegar potato chips, this hearty potato soup is both vegan and budget-friendly. Most potato soups get their richness from cream or cheese; this version gets its creaminess from canned white beans and coconut milk. These mellow ingredients help create the soup’s silky texture and let the flavor of the potato and vinegar shine through.
The short ingredient list is mostly pantry staples, but even if you don’t have everything you need on hand you’ll spend about $10 total (for six servings). Once the soup is finished simmering, give it a quick purée with an immersion blender, or if you prefer chunky soups, feel free to skip that step. Potent distilled white vinegar is the best option for nailing that distinct salt and vinegar chip-flavor, but if you only have white or red wine vinegar on hand, the soup will be just as tasty.
The best garnish for this soup? Crispy fried potato peels!
While you could compost the potato peels, why not transform them into a potato-chip-ish topping? While the soup simmers, chop up the peels and shallow-fry them. As they cook, they’ll puff into shatteringly crisp little pillows. Cool, then save the excess oil for any other savory cooking needs. If you’re short on time and happen to have a bag of potato chips (salt and vinegar or just plain salted), they also make an excellent topper.
Salt and Vinegar Potato Soup
Serves 6, Makes about 11 cups
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 large stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
- 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 large)
- 2 (about 15-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or navy
- 4 cups water or unsalted vegetable broth
- 1 (about 13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed
- Coarsely chopped fresh dill, for serving (optional)
1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 large yellow onion and 4 large celery stalks. Smash and peel 3 garlic cloves.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive or vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion mixture, 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, scrub and peel 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, saving the skins. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Drain and rinse 2 (about 15-ounce) cans white beans.
4. Add the potatoes, white beans, 4 cups water or unsalted vegetable broth, 1 (about 13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes if using, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the pot. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very soft, about 35 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. While the oil is heating, coarsely chop the reserved potato peels to the size of almonds. Line a plate with paper towels.
6. Add half of the potato peels to the oil and fry, swirling the pan occasionally, until crisp and puffed, 8 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potato peels to the paper towels. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Repeat frying the remaining potato peels. Reserve any leftover oil for another use.
7. When the soup is ready, turn off the heat. Add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and stir to combine. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot to your desired consistency (it can be totally smooth or left a bit chunky). Alternatively, transfer the soup in batches to a stand blender and blend to your desired consistency.
8. Taste and season with more kosher salt and vinegar as needed. Serve topped with crispy potato peels and chopped fresh dill if using.
- Vinegar substitution: White wine vinegar is a good substitute for distilled white (though it lacks the “potato chip” quality).
- Storage: The soup can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to four days, or frozen for up to six months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium-low heat, thinning out with water as needed to reach your desired texture.
(Rebecca Firkser is a contributor to TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)