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- 12 slices bacon
- 1 (32 oz.) carton low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water, optional
- 5 russet potatoes, cubed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups half-and-half
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy, then transfer to a separate, paper towel-lined plate.
- Drain all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat and return pot to heat. Add diced potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, then add onions and celery and sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until softened.
- Season generously with salt and pepper, dried parsley and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth (and water, if thinner consistency is desired) and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch into 2 tablespoons water, then pour slurry into soup. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in sour cream, cream cheese and half-and-half.
- Stir until cream cheese and sour cream melt smoothly, and cook for another 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, then transfer to serving bowls.
- Top with crumbled bacon and freshly ground pepper and enjoy!