Total Time: 45 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
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 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
- Shred the cheese from a block, measure out the sour cream and half and half. Let them all sit out at room temperature.
- 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 15 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 green onions and bacon, serve!
PRO Tips:Avoid using extra sharp or aged cheese, stick to mild or sharp cheddar. Heluva Sharp Cheddar Cheese is my brand of choice as it has great flavor and melts smoothly.
Milk may be used instead of half and half, just note that the broth won’t be quite as thick. Microwave the milk for 45 seconds prior to adding it to avoid curdling.
Plain Greek Yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.
Unsalted butter and reduced sodium chicken broth may be used for lower sodium content.
Cook the potatoes separately in water instead of in the soup. It's not only a time saver as they can cook while the bacon cooks, but it also removes a bit of excess starch which prevents the soup from becoming gluey.
This recipe makes about 2.5 quarts of soup, or 10 cups. Each serving is just over a cup.