credit: Red Apron Girl
- 5lb bag Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- 1lb bacon (I prefer/used center cut bacon), diced into bite size pieces
- 2 small onions (or 1 medium), diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, diced or grated
- 3 tbsp flour
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups water (can use all stock, I prefer some water to cut some of the saltiness)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we used mild)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp + 1sp McCormick Cajun seasoning (can omit, if not a spice fan)
- 4 sliced green onions
- 2 cups shredded chicken breast
- salt and pepper
Peel and cube the potatoes and boil them in salted water until they are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a dutch oven (or heavy pot) cook the bacon until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate, lined with a paper towel. If needed, drain some of the bacon fat from the pot, reserving about 2-3 tablespoons in the pot. Add onions, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute for about 7 minutes until they’re tender. Add minced garlic, or grate the garlic with a microplane (which is what I did) and cook for another two minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
Add flour and cook for about 1-2 minutes until the flour is dissolved into the oil in the pan and coats the onions and garlic. Then slowly add in the chicken stock and water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon while pouring to deglaze. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Add most of the cheese (reserving a little to sprinkle on top of the bowl when finished). Stir for a minute or two and allow the cheese to melt and help thicken the soup. Gently add the drained potatoes to the pot. Then, add the heavy cream. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper. Add paprika and cajun seasoning, as desired. Stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer for about 5 minutes to allow everything to cook together.
Now, this is where I turned off the heat, took the pot off the stove and let it cool before refrigerating for a few hours. If you want to eat it right away, just skip this step and continue. If you want to cool it, take it off the stove and let sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to help cool it faster. Refrigerate it for about 4 hours with the lid slightly off to let any residual heat escape. Reheat on medium-low for about 20 minutes until it comes back to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Once back to a simmer, check seasonings, adding more salt and pepper or spice as needed. Add most chopped green onions (reserve some for the bowls) and the chicken breast. Allow to warm through and cook for about 10 minutes.
Serve and top with bacon, green onions, and cheese. Cover the soup pot to keep it warm, because I guarantee….you’ll be back for a second bowl within about 10 minutes, maybe 15, but that’s only if you’re a slow eater like me.