America's Best Baked Potato Soup
5 medium baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sweet onions, chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup green onions, sliced, divided
Wash potatoes; prick several times with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until done; let cool.
Peel potatoes, and slice crosswise. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Cook onion in drippings, stirring constantly, until tender; add flour, stirring well. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually add chicken broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in potato, half-and-half, and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes (do not boil).
Stir in 1 cup cheese and 1/4 cup green onions. Cook until cheese melts, stirring often. Ladle soup into individual soup bowls. Top evenly with crumbled bacon. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 3/4 cup cheese and 3/4 cup green onions.