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Baked Potato Soup

2 medium potatoes (about 2 cups chopped)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced white onion
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 cup half and half

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
2 green onions (green part only), chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake the potatoes for 1 hour or
until done. When potatoes have cooked remove them from the oven to
cool. As potatoes cool prepare soup by melting butter in a large
saucepan and saute onion until light brown. Add flour to the onions
and stir to make a roux. Add stock, water, cornstarch, mashed
potatoes and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat
and simmer for 5 min. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop
out contents with a large spoon. Discard skin. Chip baked potatoes
with a large knife to make chunks that are about 1/2" in size. Add
chopped baked potato and half and half to the saucepan, bring soup
to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup for another 15 min.
or until it is thick. Spoon about 1 1/2 cups of soup into a bowl
and top with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese, a half a
tablespoon of crumbled bacon and a teaspoon or so of chopped green


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