Houston's Baked Potato Soup

Houston’s Baked Potato Soup

This is a really tasty version of this famous soup. The fennel really adds a nice flavor.

5 Medium Russet Potatoes
3 C. Whole Milk
1/2 C.Half and Half
1/2 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Chives
1/2 tsp. Salt or to taste
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper or more to taste
2 1/2 Tbs Butter
1/4 tsp. Celery Salt
1 Green Onion Diced
5 Strips of Bacon Diced and Fried Crispy-drain
1 1/4 tsp. Fennel Seeds

Wash and scrub potatoes, pat dry. Rub potatoes with butter and place in baking pan, bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool slightly. When the potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel the potatoes. While potatoes are cooling, add fennel seeds to milk and half and half, and scald the milk. Scalding is heating milk at moderated temperature just until boiling point but not boiling and quickly remove from heat. Scalding will keep the mixture from seperating. Let milk cool slightly with fennel seeds in mixture.

When potatoes or cool enough to work with carefully cut 4 in half and spoon out cooked potato and place in a food processor. Potatoes should measure out to 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked potato. Dice the 5th potato and set aside. Save the potato skins for baked potato skins later. To the cooked potato add sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, celery salt and 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. shredded cheddar cheese. Strain the fennel seeds from warm milk and discard seeds, pour milk mixture into food processor and processes 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until smooth. Place mixture into a sauce pan add butter and diced potato stir frequently and simmer on very low setting for about 15 - 20 minutes.

When ready to serve ladle into individual bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green diced onion.