- 1 pound of bacon, cut into small chunks, 1/2" wide
- 3 large Russett potatoes, cut into 1/2 " cubes (skin on or off)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste)
- 1 cup half & half
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
In a large skillet, fry the bacon until it's very crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and place a few tsps. of the grease in the bottom of a large, stock pot. Reserve the rest of the grease to add small amounts back if needed during the next step.
In the stock pot, saute half of the potato cubes until they are starting to soften. Add the onion and saute about 2 minutes until they start to soften. Finally add the remaining potato cubes and continue cooking until they are starting to soften. By then the first batch of potato should be starting to brown lightly. Cooking the potatoes in two stages is called "layering" and results in some very soft and some moderately soft, so the soup has texture.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and potatoes and stir it in a but to get all the flour moistened with the bacon fat. Add a bit of additional fat if needed. Allow the flour to cook for a minute or so to cook off the flour taste but don't cook it until it starts to darken. Add the chicken stock and stir gently to mix. As the stock heats it will start to thicken from the flour and some of the potato. Let simmer for 15 min. Add milk in 1/2 cup increments to keep the mixture soupy, and continue to simmer another 10-15 min.
Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add in the half & half to adjust to a thin, creamy consistency. Continue to simmer, checking to make sure all chunks of potato are cooked thoroughly. Finally, add about 3/4 of the crisp bacon bits and the shredded cheese. Reserve the rest of the bacon for garnish.
Simmer for another few minutes and serve. Top each serving with a few bits of bacon and slices of green onion.
*I'm serving this with grilled monterrey jack cheese and tomato sandwiches*