The Crucial Mistake That's Making Your Potato Soup So Gritty

At a glance, soup may seem like a fairly simple dish, but it is still possible to make mistakes while cooking it. With potato soup, for instance, you can be following the most perfect potato soup recipe, only to end up with a less-than-appetizing gritty texture because you used the wrong kind of potato. Recipe ruined.

As it turns out, you can't make potato soup with just any kind of potato. There are two types: waxy potatoes and starchy potatoes. Waxy varieties are ideal for creating a smooth texture, while starchy varieties work better for creating a dish that's light and fluffy. Russet potatoes, as a member of the starchy/floury potato family, are inherently grainy. Using them in soup will result in an unpleasant gritty texture. When making potato soup, be sure to reach for a waxy variety such as  fingerling potatoes, red potatoes, or baby potatoesto get a smoother texture.

How to fix a gritty potato soup

Accidents happen. So what do you do if you've made the mistake of using starchy potatoes in your soup? One trick to make your potato soup a little less grainy is to add some form of dairy –- cream, milk, or even cheese. Because dairy is generally creamy in texture, that characteristic will carry over into your soup. Crisis averted.

By the same token, you can also use plant-based milk or even pureed vegetables or nuts to add a creamy mask to a gritty soup. Just be sure that whatever you're adding isn't also gritty or grainy in texture. For instance, hard winter squashes and root vegetables puree well, whereas stringier vegetables like celery are difficult to get smooth.

If you choose to add dairy to your gritty potato soup, you need to cook your soup at a lower temperature. Too high a temperature can cause the dairy to curdle, creating a lumpy texture that will send you back to square one.