Baked potato soup - nourishing edition

I'm not sure about you, but baked potato soup is my idea of comfort food.  Creamy goodness, bacon, and something hot to warm you up on a cold winter's day.

Also, did I mention the bacon?

Alas, have you ever seen what goes in baked potato soup?  It's quite a list of heavy ingredients.  I'm not one to shy away from butter, cream, etc., but a traditional baked potato soup recipe is a little much even for me.  This version gives you the exact same delicious flavor, but without so much "stuff".

Dang Tasty and Pretty Darn Healthy Baked Potato Soup
6 Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut in to 1 inch chunks
1 onion, preferably white or yellow, sliced
4 tblsp butter
8 cups of chicken stock (try homemade, it's cheap and delicious!)
4 cloves of garlic, minced.  Yes 4.  Gotta keep the vamps away
1-2 cups of milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings: cheese, bacon, green onions, etc.

1) Peel and chop your potatoes.  The smaller you cut them, the faster they will cook.  This is how I cut a potato in about 10 seconds:


2) Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan (my beloved Dutch Oven is perfect for this).

Add the potatoes, garlic and onions, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

3) Add the broth, and bring the spuds and onions to a boil, and boil until they have softened further.  If you prefer a thicker soup, reduce the broth by about 1-2 cups.

4) Transfer in batches to a food processor or a blender.  Or, just use an immersion blender and blend it in the pot.  Now the point isn't to blend it completely smooth - a few chunks here and there is ok.

5) If you're using a blender or food processor, put the soup back in the pot.  Slowly stir in milk until the consistency is to your liking.  Cook down for another 5 ish minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.
If you prefer a thinner soup, blend well, and add more milk. 

Top with sliced green onions, shredded cheese, and bacon if desired.  Pair with a green salad, and you have a complete and healthy meal!
Can you believe I didn't have any bacon?  I can't believe it either!

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