4 large potatoes
6 slices of bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/4 c butter, cut into chunks
2 c chicken broth
2 c whole milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
2 TBS cornstarch
Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream
Bake potatoes (I put mine directly on the rack, and bake at 400 F, for about 1 hour or until tender).
Remove from oven and set aside to cool a little.
Leaving the skins on, chop 2 of the baked potatoes into small chunks. Scoop out the insides of the other 2 potatoes and mash them up with a fork. (I left mine a little chunky, not too smooth.)
Fry the bacon in a large pot, until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to cool, and then crumble for topping. Add chopped onion and garlic to the pot and cook in the bacon grease until just softened.
Stir in butter chunks until melted. Add milk, chicken broth and all of the potatoes. Stir to combine. Heat soup on low (do not boil) and when heated, add cheese, cayenne and salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with equal parts water, stirring until smooth. Add to soup and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Serve soup with crumbled bacon, onions, extra cheese and sour cream (if desired).