Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups soup, about 1 1/2 tbsp. cheese, 1 crumbled bacon slice, and 1 1/2 tsp. chives)
Ann Taylor Pittman
This lighter version of the beloved soup gives you more flavor, less glop, and full hearty satisfaction. With one simple extra step, the standard mashed potato process leads to a creamy soup adorned with all the great baked potato toppings. If you like the idea of some chunks of potato, mash coarsely; for a smoother soup, mash more completely. For the best texture, stick with russet potatoes (aka baking potatoes); starchier varieties won’t yield as creamy a result. The soup reheats well, so it’s a good make-ahead candidate; just store the toppings separately.
Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; add cool water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 11 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat; drain. Return potatoes to pan; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Whisk together flour, milk, and stock in a medium bowl. Stir milk mixture into potatoes; cook over medium, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper. Ladle soup into 6 bowls; top with cheese, bacon, and chives.
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