2 medium potatoes, about 2 cups, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup white onion, diced
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 bail
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
2 green onions, chopped, green part only
Preheat oven to 400° and bake potatoes for 1 hour or until done. Remove and cool.
As potatoes cool, prepare soup by melting butter in large pan. Sauté onion until light brown. Add flour to onions and stir, making a roux. Add chicken stock, water, cornstarch, instant mashed potatoes, and spices to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out contents with large spoon. Discard skins. Chop potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Carefully add potato chunks along with half and half to pan.
Bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until thick.
To serve, spoon into soup bowls and top each serving with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, 1/2 tablespoon bacon and a teaspoon of green onion.