Loaded Potato Soup

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Tis the season! I’m not talking about turkey or candy canes…I’m talking school germs and sick kids. Both our kids have taken turns spreading germs to one another over the last 2 weeks, and I swear I’ve only had 2 days with BOTH of them in school at the same time. With all of the coughing, fevers, and yuckiness I have been trying to make more hearty comfort meals to keep everyone feeling warm from the inside out. Now, I love a good brothy soup. Something I can eat and then drink up the warm broth out of my nearly empty bowl. My husband however, he wants something more stick-to-your-ribs and thick. That’s where this Loaded Potato Soup comes in. It’s thick and cheesy with chunks of potato and bacon in each bite, and it just warms your soul when you eat it. It is great for picky husbands and sick kids alike!

Before I start my mise en place, I make the bacon. I used to loathe making bacon-yes, it is delicious but cleaning the grease mess off my stove top every time made me crazy. I use one of these broiler pans and it is a game changer! No more greasy mess, and crispy perfect bacon every time. Put the bacon in the oven cold and then set to 400°. After 15-20 minutes you have perfect bacon!­

Now that you have your bacon started, you can work on getting everything else in place. You will need:
*1 carrot, grated
*3C cubed potatoes
*1/2C chopped onion
*1/2 tsp celery seed
*salt and pepper to taste
*1 container chicken broth
*3C milk
*3 Tbsp flour
*8 oz cheese (shredded or Velveeta, both have worked for me!)
*1 package crispy bacon, chopped and divided
*optional-sour cream, chives for garnish

Add your chicken broth to a large stock pot.

Add your potatoes, onion, carrot, and spices to the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Once your potatoes are fork tender, add your 3 Tbsp of flour to your 3 C milk. Wisk until combined.

Carefully add your milk and flour mixture to your pot.

Stir to combine and bring your soup back to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes to thicken. Be sure to stir the bottom of the pot often so the milk doesn’t stick or clump. Add in your shredded cheese and stir until melted. You should really notice your soup has thickened up!

Chop your crispy bacon. Stir half into the soup now and reserve the other half for garnish. Try to keep your husband from eating it all off of the cutting board. I put that in because it is a necessary step around here.

You can serve this as is (which is how my husband likes it) or you can garnish with some sour cream and chives (how I like it) and it tastes like a creamy baked potato. Pair it with my 6 Ingredient Sandwich Bread and it is DIVINE! Honestly though, you can’t disappoint with this one no matter how you serve it!

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