Here's what I started with:
Baked Potato Soup Recipe: from Paula Deen
8 slices Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
5 potatoes, baked, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 cups half & half
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup sour cream
Salt & pepper to taste (optional)
In a Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp; remove and crumble, reserve drippings.
Cook onion in bacon drippings until tender; stir in flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth; cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Put in the diced potatoes, parsley, bacon and half & half; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and sour cream. Garnish with cheese, bacon and sour cream.
-I used turkey bacon instead of pork bacon. Because turkey bacon doesn't have as much fat, I put some olive oil in so that the bacon would get crisp.
-I added some artificial bacon bits.
-I added some minced garlic.
Here's how I did it:
#1 I peeled, washed and cut up about 6 potatoes (sorry for the shadowy picture).
#2 I threw some bacon in a dutch oven along with some olive oil.
#3 I peeled and diced up an onion.
#4 While the bacon was cooking, I went ahead and poured 2 cups of half and half.
#5 Once the bacon was crispy, I pulled it off and then threw the onions in the same pot to cook for about 1 minute.
#6 I measured out 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and poured it in with the onions. I also added more olive oil because there wasn't a lot of remnants from the bacon since it was turkey bacon.
#7 After the onions and flour cooked for about 1 minute, I slowly stirred in 2 cans of chicken broth. The recipe called for 3 cans but 2 worked just fine.
#8 At this point, I was a little nervous by the look of the "soup" but I let it all get hot and thicken up.
#9 While the stock was thickening, I chopped up the bacon.
#10 After it was thick, I then put in the potatoes, parsley, bacon and half & half.
#11 I noticed that it didn't seem like a lot of bacon so I put about 1 T of artifcial bacon bits in the pot, too.
#12 The recipe said to let all of the above cook for 10 minutes but I didn't think that it was enough time because the potatoes were still hard. I let it go for about 15-17 minutes and then I added 1/2 cup of light sour cream and 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
The Finished Product:
I only have one word to describe this soup--DELICIOUS! This soup only took about 40 minutes with prep and cooking time. It had great flavor and I love the fact that cheese was actually added to the soup and not just an after-thought as a topping.
I don't know if you can tell or not in the pics but I left pretty big pieces of bacon and it added great texture. I wish that I would have cooked up a couple of more pieces and then saved some to put on top, too.
Of course, Kanin and Gracie didn't eat it BUT don't go by them because they are in the "I don't like this" phase about everything.
If you like potato soup, this is for you!!