Loaded Baked Potato Soup

There are only 3 soups I eat. The first is a one-of-a-kind seafood chowder only made at the York Harbor Inn in York, ME. The others are tomato bisque and potato soup.  I credit my severe distaste for any broth based soup to my childhood (what a shock). Anytime I was sick with the stomach flu, which was quite frequently, my mom made me Campbell’s Chicken and Stars soup. God, it’s making me nauseous just thinking about that stuff right now. Anyway, thankfully potato soup doesn’t seem to be affected by this food aversion!

I searched around a little to find a loaded baked potato soup and then made some of my own modifications. This was really good and the husband loved it too! You don’t even need to serve anything else with it since its full of potato, bacon, cheese, and a ton of flavor!

-3  bacon strips, diced
-1 scallion, chopped for garnish
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 clove garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2  teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
-2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 cup fat free half-and-half
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crispy. (I like mine extra crispy).  Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Dice bacon and aside. Saute minced garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper.
2. Pour stock into a large pot. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the sauteed garlic mixture and bacon pieces, and then add the potatoes and cream. heat through but do not boil. Garnish with cheese and scallions.

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