2 medium potatoes (about 2 cups chopped)
3 T butter
1 cup diced white onion
2 T flour
4 c chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1/2 t basil
1/8 t thyme
1 cup half and half (I always use 1% milk)
Directions: 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 the flour to the onions and stir to make a roux.
Add the stock, water, cornstarch, mashed potatoes, and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out contents with a large spoon. Discard skin. Chop baked potato with a large knife to make chunks that are about 1/2-inch in size.
Add chopped baked potato and half-and-half to the saucepan, bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for another 15 minutes or until it is thick.
Spoon about 1 1/2 cups of soup into a bowl and top with about a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese, a half tablespoon of crumbled bacon and a teaspoon or so of chopped green onion