Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients :

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4 large russet potatoes, equal to 2 lbs.
¾ teaspoon salt
6 slices thick-cut bacon
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon butter
¼ cup flour
3 ½ cups Chicken broth
2 cups half and half
¾ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 cup chives, finely diced
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Instructions ;

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Prep Work
Shred the cheese from a block, measure out the sour cream and half and half. Let them all sit out at room temperature.
Cooking Instructions
Cut the bacon into 1-inch squares with kitchen shears. Cook in a large pot over low heat, rotating occasionally. They’ll overlap at first but will shrink down as they cook. Remove and set aside once crisp. Leave 2 Tablespoons of drippings in the pot.
While the bacon cooks, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add to a stock pot and cover the potatoes with 1 inch of water. Add the salt and boil gently for 20 minutes or until very fork-tender. Drain, then gently mash. Set aside.
Add the diced onion to the pot with the bacon drippings and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and butter and cook 1 more minute.
Whisk in flour, use a silicone spatula to stir as the flour cooks for 1 full minute to remove the raw flour taste.
Add the chicken broth. Use a silicone spatula to loosen any bacon remnants from the bottom of the pot, this will add flavor.
Slowly add the half and half. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Stir in the potatoes, then mix in the sour cream and pepper.
Remove from heat. If desired, blend with an immersion blender or transfer it to a blender in batches. (I prefer to do this for a creamier and smoother consistency.)
Gradually sprinkle with shredded cheese and stir until combined. Make sure the base of the soup isn’t too hot or the cheese won’t melt creamy and smooth. The soup will continue to thicken as it sits.
Garnish with chives and bacon, and serve!

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