Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

This is my well-used recipe for Potato Soup that was a favorite of my Dad’s. As a little girl, I remember him coming home after hauling coal from Tremont, Pa. in the Coal Region to Philadelphia and New York City in his tractor-trailer and me running out to greet him and climbing up into the cab to ride to the top of the driveway where he parked.

I waited all day for my Pop to come home and was like a puppy waiting to hear the sound of that diesel coming around the turn, crossing the railroad tracks by our house – empty trailer rattling over each rail – then slowing down to turn into our dirt drive.

Rain, shine or snow, I ran outside, down the walk, and climbed up into the passenger side of the cab. “Ready? Pop would ask and I squirmed in anticipation of him taking off up the drive. As much as I liked the ride, the big thrill was seeing my Pop at the end of the day and knowing his prized red Mack was named after me — “Miss Lori Ann” was painted on the front bumper.

At least once a week, Mom had a pot of this soup simmering and ready for him when he arrived home. His eyes would light up seeing this as if he were going to be sitting down to a gourmet meal. As I grew older and took over the kitchen, I made this for him many, many times.

This is not meant to be a thickened potato soup, but rather a VERY simple one found in PA Dutch cuisine that consists of a thin, milky broth filled with potatoes – easy and budget friendly. If you do not like, or do not eat, hard-cooked eggs, you can omit them, but I recommend adding them otherwise. You can garnish with crumbled fried bacon, chives, paprika…your choice, but keep in mind, this is meant to be a very SIMPLE dish to keep it traditional and once you start adding other ingredients, you no longer have this wonderfully simple, traditional soup

Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Soups, EntreesCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy


  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided plus additional for garnish

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 – 2 ribs celery diced fine (including some leaves)

  • 6 large general purpose potatoes, peeled and diced in to 1/2 inch dice (about 2 pounds)

  • Water

  • 3 cups whole milk OR 1-1/2 cups whole milk and 1- 12 ounce can full fat evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk)

  • 3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and roughly chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • OPTIONAL: Fresh or dried parsley for garnish


  • Cook the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until softened but not browned.
  • Add potatoes and JUST enough water to cook (just barely to the top of the potatoes). Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.  SIMMER until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Watch that you do not boil too hard and cook the pan dry. Do not drain.
  • Add the milk, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat just until hot, do not boil.
  • Stir in the chopped eggs, serve with another pat of butter on top if desired and sprinkle of parsley and/or black pepper.


  • If you choose, you can use a potato masher to mash some of the potato cubes to thicken slightly, but this soup is meant to be thin.


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I’m Lori Fogg

“A Coalcracker In The Kitchen”

Born and raised “a coal miner’s daughter” in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania, I love to share recipes and memories of home with fellow “coalcrackers” and celebrate our unique blending of Eastern European and Pa. Dutch heritage and cuisines here in northeast Pennsylvania.
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