Baked Potato Soup With Cheddar & Bacon

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • (about 1/2 lb. each)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts), sliced and rinsed well
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 2 s homemade or low-salt canned
  • chicken broth
  • 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 milk
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • 1 (about 1/4 lb.) grated sharp Cheddar (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens or chives

Directions

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.

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