During the cooler months of autumn and winter I try to plan for Soup Saturdays – making a big pot of something yummy to fill up all the big and small bellies in my house. I have shied away from potato soups in the past because I have never been a huge fan of heavier cream-based soups until I found this recipe. With a chicken stock base and only a little half-and-half, this recipe is a keeper in my house. Serves 6-8 and comes together in about 30 minutes.

1 Tbl. olive oil or butter

1 onion, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbl Better Batter Gluten Free Flour

4 c. chicken stock

3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-in dice

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c. half-and-half

Toppings: bacon (I cooked up a full pound of thick-cut bacon for this recipe and had very little left over), green onions or parsley, shredded cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot and cook until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, saute the onion, cooking until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour and cook an additional minute, stirring well to cook out any of the flour taste. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir well; simmer 5 minutes. Add 2 c. shredded cheese into the soup and stir well until melted.

Once the potatoes are done, drain them and give a rough mash with a potato masher. Add the potatoes to the soup mixture; stir well. Soup will begin to thicken. Add the half-and-half and simmer. If you like the soup smooth without lumps use a stick/immersion blender to blend the soup, or carefully ladle into a blender in batches. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and top with bacon, shredded cheese, and green onions or chopped parsley.

Many people serve bread alongside this type of soup. I made a spinach salad topped with diced apples and pecans – perfect – and helped cut through the heaviness of the potatoes. No bread needed!