Especially during soup season, there's nothing quite like coming home after a busy day to a delicious bowl of warming, comforting potato soup. However, making potato soup from scratch can be time-intensive and laborious; a lot of recipes call for hours of simmering plus chopping, dicing, and otherwise prepping your ingredients, from spuds to chives to freshly cooked bacon. Some might even ask you to make your own chicken stock from scratch first, which is a whole other process on its own.
Is there a better way to get your potato soup fix without all the extra work (and without relying on canned soup)? Absolutely — and it all starts with your potatoes. Rather than peeling, dicing, boiling, and simmering your spuds, use a quick and easy shortcut: frozen hash browns. Added to your soup's broth and cream base, frozen hash browns cook quickly and, if you buy cubed hash browns versus shredded, are the perfect size, shape, and texture for a slightly chunky soup with no chopping or peeling required. (Not cooking potato soup specifically? If you're cooking any cream-based soup, frozen hash browns still work well as a surprising soup thickener.)
Read more: 20 Frozen Foods Costco Shoppers Swear By
No Frozen Hash Browns On Hand?
If, though, you're craving homemade potato soup, but don't want to put in the work to make your soup from scratch and also don't have any frozen hash browns on hand, you do have other options. If you have any leftover mashed, roasted, or baked potatoes in your fridge, you can easily use any or all of the above as your potato soup's potato base. You can likewise use instant mashed potatoes if you have a packet in your pantry.
If using leftover potatoes, it's important to understand that different potato varieties will yield different results. White and red potatoes are lower in starch than some other varieties, so they won't break down in your soup quite like some other potatoes might. If you prefer your potato soup to be on the chunky side, you'll want to use leftovers like the white potatoes that you cooked with a roast recently or the red potatoes that you roasted on a sheet pan. In contrast, russet potatoes like those that you might bake are starchier, so leftover baked potatoes will make for a creamier potato soup with no chunks.
Read the original article on Mashed.