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The 5 Best Onions for Potato Soup

Potato soup is the ultimate comfort food, and onions are a key ingredient that add depth and flavor.

But with so many types of onions to choose from, which ones are best for potato soup?

What are the best onions to use in potato soup? The best onions to use in potato soup include yellow onions for their sweetness, red onions for their mild flavor and color, shallots for their delicate flavor, white onions for their sharp and pungent taste, and leeks for their subtle onion flavor and creaminess.

Choosing the right onion can be the difference between good and great potato soup.

Let’s explore the best onion varieties to use in this classic dish.

Why Use Onion In Potato Soups?

Onion and Potato Soup

Onions are frequently used in cooking, and they are particularly common in potato soup.

Here are 5 reasons why onions are used in potato soups:

  1. Adds Flavor: Onions contain essential oils that add flavor to dishes. The distinct, sweet, and pungent flavor profile of onions enhances the taste of potato soup in a very subtle but significant way.
  2. Improves Aroma: Onions are known to enhance the aroma of dishes. The fragrance of onions gives potato soup an appetizing smell that stimulates the senses, making it more appealing.
  3. Boosts Nutritional Value: Onions are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. Adding onions to potato soup is an excellent way to boost the nutritional value of the dish.
  4. Enhances Texture: Onions add a textural component to potato soup, as they are slightly crunchy and chewy. This texture provides a contrast to the creamy consistency of the soup, making it more satisfying to eat.
  5. Balances/Complements the Creaminess of Potato Soup: The addition of onions in potato soup helps balance out the creaminess of the soup. The sharpness of the onions provides a counterbalance to the richness of the other ingredients used in the soup.

Including onions in potato soup not only makes it more delicious but also adds nutritional benefits to this already classic and comforting dish.

The 5 Best Onions for Potato Soup

Potato Soup is a classic comfort food, and the type of onion you choose can make all the difference in its flavor.

Here are five onions that will bring out the best in your potato soup:

1. Yellow Onions

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are the most widely used onions for cooking and are a popular choice for potato soup.

They possess a mild to medium flavor, making them less overpowering than other onion varieties.

When cooked, they turn a beautiful caramelized color, adding depth and richness to the soup.

To ensure the perfect balance of flavors, begin by sautéing yellow onions in butter or oil until they turn translucent, then add garlic and potatoes for maximum flavor.

Yellow onions are readily available and budget-friendly, making them an ideal option for home cooks who want to create a delicious, comforting bowl of potato soup.

2. Red Onions

Red Onions

Red onions possess a sharper flavor profile than their yellow cousins, with a touch of sweetness. They’re a popular alternative for those who want a bit of a kick to their soup.

Their purple hue adds an aesthetically pleasing touch to the soup, making it visually appealing.

When cooking potato soup, add finely diced red onions for a pop of flavor and color.

They’re an excellent substitute for yellow onions and provide a tangy twist to your standard potato soup recipe.

3. Shallots


Shallots are the sophisticated cousin of the onion family, often used in French cuisine.

They have a milder flavor than onions, with a delicate sweetness that adds depth and complexity to dishes.

Shallots are the perfect choice for those seeking a subtle, nuanced flavor in their potato soup.

Once sautéed with butter or oil, they improve the overall flavor profile of the soup.

Blitzing the sautéed shallots with boiled potatoes makes for a luxurious and velvety soup.

Shallots are also small in size, making them easier to chop and blend into the soup, giving it a delightful texture.

4. White Onions

White Onions

White onions are a popular ingredient in many soups, stews, and dishes.

They have a strong flavor when raw, but when cooked, the taste mellows out, adding a sweet and slightly tangy flavor profile to dishes.

This makes them an excellent addition to potato soup.

They offer a bold flavor that is perfect for warming, comforting dishes such as soup.

When buying white onions, make sure they’re firm with no soft spots, and their skin should be papery and thin.

Dice them up and add them to your potato soup, and you will have a robust base with added depth of flavor.

5. Leeks


Leeks, a member of the onion family, have a milder and slightly sweeter taste than regular onions.

They can add a unique flavor to your potato soup and are perfect for those who want to add an extra layer of complexity to the dish.

When shopping for leeks, look for ones with dark green leaves and firm white stems, avoiding ones with browning on the edges.

To prepare leeks, remove the tough outer leaves, slice them lengthwise, and rinse them well to remove any dirt.

Dice them up and sauté them with potatoes, garlic, and other aromatics for a delicious and delicate potato soup with a subtle hint of onion.

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.