Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Serves about 8
5 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 a pound of bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 quarts of chicken stock
3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups of shredded jack cheese
1/2 cup of half and half
Salt and pepper
1. In a large soup pot, cook bacon over medium heat. Once bacon is crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove bacon and reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan. Set cooked bacon aside to serve on top of soup.
2. Add onions to pot and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent.
3. Add potatoes and chicken stock to pot and increase heat to medium high, once stock start to bubble reduce heat and simmer potatoes 15-20 minutes or until tender.
4. Once potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender or a blender to blend soup. You can blend all of the soup for a creamy texture, or blend just half of the soup and return to pot for a chunky texture.
Be careful when blending hot soups! You must vent the blender to allow heat to escape and keep a dishtowel over the vented area. Only blend hot soup in small batches to avoid burns.
5. Once the soup is blended, stir in half and half and cheese.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste the soup before adding salt as the chicken broth and cheese both contain salt already. I added a teaspoon of salt to ours and several turns of the pepper mill.
7. Sprinkle soup with cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives.
This is a big batch of soup, so you can cut the recipe in half and serve just four people, or have plenty of leftovers. Reheat leftovers over low heat.