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3potatoeslarge russet, bake and scooped out
4 tbspflourall purpose
2 ½cupcheddar cheese (divided)1 cup mild, 1 cup sharp, and ½ cup yellow cheddar for garnish.
4cupsmilk2% or whole
1scallionchopped for garnish
6slices baconfried and crumbled
2cupschicken stock use vegetable if you are vegetarian
1cupsour cream- split3/4 cup in soup and 1/4 cup for garnishing
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cupdiced scallions with stemsfor garnish
Cook the bacon until crispy and crumble. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat and saute the onions until translucent in the bacon fat. Remove from pan and set aside.
Rub the potatoes with some of the drained bacon fat. This gives them a crispy skin and makes it easier to scoop them out. Poke them 2 or 3 times with a fork before baking. Bake at 425°F for 1 hour or until fork-tender. Scoop out immediately if you want to use the skins for stuffing. The skins will soften as the potatoes cool, making it harder to scoop them out for stuffing. Set the potato meat aside.
Melt the butter in a 3-quart kettle. Add the flour and cook until the flour just starts to brown.
Slowly whisk in the milk and stock; taking care to prevent lumps by whisking continuously until the milk is all added. Continue cooking until thick about 10 minutes. You want the soup to be simmering before going to the next step.
Add the potatoes and diced onion; simmering over medium-low heat for 10 minutes Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
Add the bacon (save a tbsp for garnish), 2 cups of the cheese, and 3/4 cup of sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve once the cheese is melted and soup is hot through. Garnish with yellow cheddar cheese, the scallions, bacon, and top with a scant 1 tbsp sour cream.
Make stuffed baked potato skins with the leftover skins. Skins can be stuffed and frozen for up to 2 weeks prior to baking. Or freeze the unstuffed skins, defrost and stuff at a later date.