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Baked Potato Soup

I am fully aware that Southern California is not experiencing "Soup Weather" currently. However, much of the rest of the country is very busy freezing their collective butts off. In honor of the majority of my extended family, the folks who only visit this delightful place, we had hearty and not so healthy soup. They probably need this recipe far more than we do. Nevertheless, I made this last night. We are soup people around here, weather be damned. Yes, it was in the stinkin' 80's here yesterday. Yes the sky is an astounding color of blue. Yes, we even had to put the stupid air conditioning on in January, but it really puts a crimp in my meal plan! I had planned on cold weather, not this ridiculous heat wave.

Bluest sky, not exactly "Soup Weather"
Bluest sky, not exactly "Soup Weather"

Baked Potato Soup

1/2 pound center cut bacon

1/2 cup flour

7 cups milk

4 baked potatoes, cooled, skinned and cut into cubes

1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup sour cream

Dice the bacon (20 minutes in the freezer will make this much easier). Cook diced bacon in dutch oven, until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve about 1/4-1/2 cup of bacon drippings (I know, I know...not exactly healthy, but it doesn't hurt to indulge yourself every once in a while).

Add flour to the bacon drippings and stir together to make a roux (yes, another roux, but it is the basis for so so so much!). Slowly add the milk to the roux, wisking the roux to dissolve it into the milk. Stir until soup begins to thicken (this may take a while, since the milk was cold).

Add potatoes, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the mixture. Add sour cream and serve hot.

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