Introduction: The Amazing Potato Soup Experience

About: I'm a Renaissance woman. I love to create things with a fantasy, medieval, or geeky edge. I'm also a math/science nerd. I have a passion for all things Halloween. I like to build props, create costume elements…
This is an adaptation of the soup my mother made when I was a kid.  It is and was the one soup that everyone liked.  My husband says it's not soup, it's an "experience."  Potato, cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onion in a bowl; warm and good.  Because it's thickened with instant mashed potatoes, it's also gluten free.  It's actually quick to prepare, as far as soup goes, and can be made in under an hour.

This makes approximately 3 quarts soup.

Step 1: Ingredients

8 strips bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups water, chicken stock, or beer (if making gluten free select gluten free beer)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into approx. 1" cubes*
1/2 teas granulated garlic
1/2 teas salt (to start, you will almost certainly need more)
2 cups milk (use all or part evaporated milk for richer soup)
1½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
instant potato flakes
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup sliced green onions

*potatoes have differing amounts of starch but this recipe utilizes potato flakes for thickening so use your favorite variety of potato or whatever you happen to have

Step 2: Bacon and Onions

In a your soup pan, cook bacon pieces until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.

Leave 2 Tbsp bacon grease to the bottom of the pan.  (If you are worried about using bacon grease, you can use oil or you can use a little bacon grease with oil so long as the total is about 2 Tbsp.)  Add diced onions.  Sweat the onions on low heat until they are translucent.

Step 3: Potatoes

Add the water, chicken stock, or beer to the pot and bring to a boil.

Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and diced potatoes. Simmer on low-med heat until the potatoes are cooked through.

Step 4: The Amazing Part

Add the milk and bring to a simmer on low heat.

Next, add 1 cup sour cream, reserving the rest for garnish, and stir until combined.

Add 1 cup instant potato flakes and stir to thicken slightly.

Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese, reserving the rest for garnish. Stir until cheese is melted and well-combined.

Thicken according to your preference using more potato flakes. There is somewhat of a "delayed reaction" of thickening as the dried potatoes soak up moisture.  So add flakes in small amounts and wait a few minutes between additions to check the consistency until desired thickness is reached.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls or mugs garnished with sour cream, cheese, bacon, and green onion..
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