Baked Potato Soup
2 Tbs butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C flour
4 1/2 C low-fat or skim milk
1 14oz can chicken broth
4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) baked*
2 C grated cheddar (or sharp cheddar) cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C light sour cream, divided
1/2 C chopped green onions, divided
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
*don't have time to bake potatoes in the oven? Just pierce them with a fork a few times and then pop them in the microwave. Cook in 5 minute intervals until a knife easily pierces through them. It usually takes 5-10 minutes. To bake in the oven, pierce each potato with a fork and place directly on oven rack. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.
Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Add flour to pan. Slowly add milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to eliminate lumps. Whisk until smooth and then add chicken broth. Bring soup just to a simmer and heat until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
Once soup is thickened, turn heat down to medium-low. Cut potatoes in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh into the pot. Use a wooden spoon to smash potatoes, breaking up large clumps. Add 1 1/2 C grated cheese and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in 3/4 C sour cream, 1/4 C green onions, and 4 strips of the crumbled bacon. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with each serving with the remaining sour cream, onions, cheese, and bacon.