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from: Cuisine Splendid Soups and Super Sides

Note:  You’ll only use the potato flesh, so save the skins for another dish or tasty treat like potato skins.

Servings: 6 (12 cups)
Total Time:  1.5 hours

Ingredients
4 large potatoes, pierced and coated with olive oil and kosher salt
4 strips of bacon, diced
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups chopped, smoked ham
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bake the potatoes on a baking sheet until tender, about 1 hour. When they are cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and chop.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven until crisp.  Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  4. Saute onions, carrot, celery, and garlic in bacon drippings over medium-high heat until onions soften, about 3 minutes.  Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.
  5. Whisk in broth, water, cream, and mustard.  Bring to a boil.
  6. Add potato flesh, broccoli, and ham.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until broccoli is tender, 5-7 minutes.
  7. Add 3-1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, let melt, then stir into soup.  Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish each serving with scallion, bacon, and remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar.
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