You need to stop whatever you are doing and make this soup. Seriously like now. It is probably the best soup ever. This past Halloween weekend I made it twice for two different parties, on both occasions the pot was licked clean and people were begging for the recipe. The bacon grease is what makes the flavor of this soup pop in your mouth. Too often potato soup can be runny and bland, not this soup. It's so good, bacony, cheesy, chunky with potatoes. Serve it in bread bowls with a big green salad and you're sure to knock the socks off of those you're feeding. You really need to try this.
Baked Potato Soup
6 medium sized baking potatos
1 pound of bacon, cooked till crispy and crumbled
1/4 cup bacon grease
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Tabasco sauce or 1/2 tsp of cayanne pepper
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups half and half
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped Green Onion
(More) Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Start by washing, chopping to medum sized pieces and boiling your potato's till they're slightly undercooked, they shouldn't fall apart and should still have a bite to them. While they boil, cook the bacon and reserve the grease. Set the bacon aside and in a large saucepan saute the onion and garlic in bacon grease, until fragrant and tender. Mix together the flour, salt, basil, and pepper in a small bowl. Turn the heat down and stir in flour mixture. Allow it to absorb all of the grease and stir constantly for about a minute, this will make the roux that will thicken the soup. When the mixture is clumppy and dry gradually add chicken broth whisking to break up flour clumps. Bring mixture to a boil and stir occasionaly for 2 minutes making sure the clumbs on the bottom of the pan aren't sticking, the mixture will thicken slightly. Turn down the heat to medium low and add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce, stir to incorperate completely. Finally turn stove down to low and finish with adding three cups of shreded cheese and half of the crumbled bacon; heat through but do not allow to boil. Thicken the soup on the stove at low heat for about 15 minutes (or as long as you need, if you keep the heat on low the soup will stay yummy on the stove for a couple hours). Garnish with bacon, cheese and green onions.
*this is the recipe doubled, but if you're making it for a smaller crowd 1/2 everything, it will still turn out great!
*also I've noticed that at times its not as thick as I'd like it to be, if this is the case for you mix a couple of tablespoons (like 2-4) of cornstarch or flour with some water or milk to make a runny pudding like consistency. This concoction will thicken the soup right up, if you just stir it in.
*on that same note if the soup is too thick add a splash or two of cream or broth that should thin it out to the consistancy of your liking.
*if i'm taking this soup to a party or an event I always stick it in my crock pot after I've cooked it. That way it stays nice and hot.