Heat oven to 375°. Scrub potatoes, pat dry, and pierce several times with fork. Set them directly on oven rack and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on cooling rack. Melt butter in soup pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and 2 cups water. Simmer until leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Transfer to paper-towel lined plate to drain. Cut one of cooled potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop flesh out in one piece from each half. Cut flesh into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop potato skin and entire remaining potato and add to pot with leeks. Puree contents of pot in batches in a blender until very smooth. Return soup to a clean pot and reheat over medium low. Whisk together milk and sour cream and then whisk this into soup, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese. Stir in diced potato. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with remaining Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and the scallions or chives. Makes 4-1 1/2 cup servings.
Note: Sharp cheese works well in this soup because it melts smoothly. Extra sharp will give you a more pronounced flavor but because of the lower moisture content, the soup will be less smooth.
Creamy soup that tastes like a loaded baked potato. Scrub potatoes well since They’re used skin and all.