The Best Type Of Potatoes For Satisfying Chunky Soups

There are many types of potatoes available for cooking, but only a few should be considered to use in a chunky soup. The kind of spud that makes the classic potato leek soup will go to pieces in a hearty stew. So, if you're looking to indulge in the tarragon creaminess of a good chicken stew and want to incorporate chunks of potatoes that will retain their shape, which should you choose? The short answer is potatoes that are more waxy than starchy.

When talking about the texture of potatoes there are only three basic types — all-purpose, waxy, and starchy. What's at the heart of this is the relationship between starch and moisture in each variety of tuber. Starch likes to absorb moisture, which is why starchy Russet potatoes are so great in creamy soups. Conversely, waxy versions like round white potatoes that have more moisture than starch will hold up much better in a hearty soup.

Round white potatoes and other versions you should use

There are several kinds of potatoes that are waxy enough to create chunky soup — round whites, purple, Yukon Gold, new red, and fingerling potatoes. Any of these have a low enough starch content to hold their own shape in a soup or stew, so you can make your choice based on flavor or color. Round white potatoes work exceptionally well if you want larger pieces in your dish since they retain their shape so well. And while we enjoy fingerling potatoes as an extra-crispy side dish, we also heartily recommend them for your next batch of soup for a couple of reasons.

Fingerling potatoes can come in a variety of colors, making your stew as eye-catching as it is delicious. The prep is also minimal since fingerling potatoes are small enough to not need much more than being sliced into two pieces. Moreover, you can leave their thin, nutritious skins on and they won't float away as can sometimes happen with red potatoes. So, the next time you're craving a delicious soup or stew, try these types of spuds and you'll get the perfect texture every time.