Creamy Cheddar and Potato Soup with Bacon
2 large potatoes, diced
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onion
About 3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup milk
A few grindings of fresh black pepper
½ pound shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices crispy, cooked bacon, crumbled
1. Place the potatoes, celery, carrots, and onions in a large pot with just enough water to cover the medley. Add salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, decrease heat slightly and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes and vegetables are fork-tender. Add the chicken broth.
2. In a food processor or blender, purée the soup in batches. Transfer the puréed batches into a large bowl. Add the milk to the last batch and season with pepper. Transfer all the puréed soup back into original large pot and stir to blend.
3. Heat the soup over moderate heat and slowly stir in the cheese. When the cheese has melted, ladle the soup into 6 serving bowls and top each bowl with crumbled bacon.