Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Time: 30 minutes hands on + 90 minutes total

Yield: 12 servings
Recipe from the lovely Stephanie Schaugard

8 russet potatoes
1 (16 ounce) package bacon
1 C butter
1 1/2 C flour
4 C milk
4 C half and half
10 chicken bullion cubes (or 10 tsp. bullion granules)
salt and pepper
cheddar cheese, grated
green onions, chopped

1. Scrub your potatoes clean with water and then set them out on a baking sheet.
2. Press a fork into each potato several times. Pop them into a 400 degree oven and let them bake for about 1 hour.
3. Let the potatoes cool for at least 20 minutes before you try to handle them. When they are cool enough, peel them
and then chop them into pieces.
4. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and lay your bacon out onto it. Bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crisp.
5. Remove the bacon from the hot baking sheet to a plate lined with paper towels. Dab the excess grease from the bacon with another paper towel. Once the bacon has cooled, cut it into pieces.
6. Into a large pot melt 1 cup of butter. 
7. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour to the butter. Quickly whisk the butter and flour together forming a nice thick paste (this is called a roux). 
8. Add 4 cups of milk, 4 cups of half and half and 10 bullion cubes or 10 teaspoons bullion granules. 
9. Whisk the soup ingredients together over medium high heat. Keep on stirring until the soup comes to a boil and gets thick. Should take about 5 minutes is all. If the soup is thicker than you like add a little bit of milk to thin it out. 
10. Add the baked potato chunks and allow them to get heated through. 
11. Taste the soup, add a bit of salt and pepper to your liking. Serve it with the bacon crumbles, cheddar cheese and green onions.