Fully loaded, thick and creamy potato soup. Bacon inside and out. Ham, cheddar, and perhaps some cream cheese if you choose, this soup is beautiful, comfortable, and flexible! You can adjust this recipe to make a little or a lot, and I would suggest a lot! Join or start a soup exchange, freeze a bunch in jars (2/3 full so they don't break!) or bring some to your needy friend.
Put chopped bacon into Cast Iron Dutch oven, or other heavy pot, and fry until almost crispy on medium high temperature.
While cooking bacon: scrub, peel (optional) and dice potatoes into small pieces
Dice 2 onions.
Smash and dice garlic- A full bulb, or approximately 9 or 10 cloves.
Fill cheesecloth with fresh thyme and tie it.
Remove half of the bacon and put aside for garnishing the soup.
Add all above ingredients to the pot of bacon once it is ready. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes
Add 3 cups of pre-cooked ham and 2 bay leaves
Add chicken broth (about 50 oz or 4 cans) and deglaze the pot
add cumin, and bring barely to a boil (be very careful not to burn to the bottom!)
Add sour cream
Whisk in evaporated milk
Use a hand blender to blend soup down to desired consistency. I like to still have a few chunks, but mostly smooth and creamy soup, so I blend for about 8 minutes.
Let sit until thickened. This soup will be better, and thicker the next day. You might even decide to add more seasoning as the potatoes will have absorbed it, and milk to loosen it up to reheat.
Garnish with leftover bacon, diced chives, and even some cubes of cream cheese if you'd like. This is flexible, but remember, we eat with our eyes just as much as with our mouths! Make it look good!