Can I Cook Potatoes With the Skin for Potato Soup?

When looking for a hearty soup that is both creamy and filling, potato soup can be a quick and easy way to satisfy your cravings. Although it is customary to peel potatoes before placing them into the soup to cook, consider a more rustic version of the soup with peels left on.

A large bowl of potato soup. Credit: Katharina Rau/iStock/Getty Images

Benefits of the Skin

Leaving the skin on your potatoes when cooking potato soup provides several benefits over peeling your potatoes. First, leaving the skin on helps the potato keep its shape, as potatoes can quickly break down when boiled in a soup. Second, the potato skin contains additional dietary fiber which can help increase the nutritional value of your soup. However, contrary to popular belief, the potato skin does not contain the majority of nutrients according to the Washington State Potato Commission. Leaving the skin on also provides a different texture and flavor to the finished soup.

Cleaning the Potato

Peeling removes not only the potato skin, but the dirt and other substances that can build up on the surface of the potato. Unfortunately, this means that when you leave the skin on, you need to take the additional step of more thoroughly cleaning the potato. Run the potato under warm water and scrub vigorously with your hands. Do not use soap. A clean brush, such as the type designed for scrubbing dishes, can be used to get into the crevices of the potato and get the potatoes even cleaner.

Potato Cutting Size

When cutting the potatoes, it's important to get an even cut across each of the potatoes or some pieces will cook faster than other, resulting in an uneven texture. The size you cut your potatoes largely depends on personal preference. Keep in mind that larger pieces will take longer overall to cook. Longer cook times can be beneficial if you want the soup to develop a deeper flavor.

Cooking Time

When cooking your potatoes with skin on you should regularly test the potatoes to see how done they are. Overcooking potatoes can cause the skins to fall off, leaving strips of potato skin with no potato attached throughout your soup.

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