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Baked Potato Soup

This is my wife’s recipe. It is not a healthy recipe. It is a comfort food recipe. It is what you eat when it is cold and you want something hearty.

A few years ago, my wife went down to Amelia Island on the northeast coast of Florida with a friend. At a restaurant, she tried a bowl of homemade baked potato soup and really liked it. At another restaurant, it was also on the menu and it was different than the first, but also good.

So Christy came home and set about coming up with her own recipe after reviewing several. This is the final creation. She’s been sick this week and we had a pretty strong cold front come through Macon. So I made a pot of this. The key is preparation. Get the potatoes cooking and, while they’re cooking, chop the onion and cook the bacon. Make sure you have everything ready to go for when you start the soup.

Ingredients:

8 to 10 small to medium red potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cubed
2 pounds bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup butter
1 large sweet onion finely chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 gallon whole milk (1/2 gallon measured, reserving the rest)
16 oz shredded medium Cheddar cheese
8 oz sour cream
1 tbs salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 green onions, chopped

Directions:

Place whole, unpeeled red potatoes in boiling, salted water and boil till soft.

While potatoes are boiling, cook bacon crisp in the microwave or a skillet. Crumble after cooking.

Place potatoes in ice water to cool to room temperature then cube into bite-sized pieces. Leave on the skin.

In a 7qt stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook till lightly browned. Whisk in flour until smooth and stir for two minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Gradually stir in 1/2 gallon of milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Add extra milk to thin as desired if you find it necessary.

Serve and top with green onions and extra bacon and shredded cheese as garnish.

NOTE: The soup will thicken significantly in the fridge. But heat it back up and it thins out. You can also thin it by adding more milk.

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