You can replace the half-and-half with additional milk to reduce the calories.
- ¾ cup onion, chopped
- ¾ cup celery, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 4 cups milk
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 4 large potatoes, baked, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup bacon bits
- Chopped fresh chives to taste
- Sauté the onion and celery in one tablespoon butter in a medium sauté pan until tender.
- In a large pot, combine the onion mixture (set aside the now-empty sauté pan) , half-and-half, milk, salt and pepper; mix well. Heat the mixture to the boiling point, stirring occasionally.
- Heat the remaining two tablespoons butter in the sauté pan (used to cook the onion) until melted. Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 minutes or until of roux consistency, whisking constantly. Whisk the roux into the milk mixture. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Add the potatoes to the soup and mix well. Cook just until the potatoes are heated through, stirring frequently. Using a banana masher, mash the potatoes so that some of the potatoes are blended into the soup.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Top each serving with cheese, bacon bits and chives.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Notes: Bake potatoes in the microwave before beginning soup to allow time for potatoes to cool before peeling