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America's Best Baked Potato Soup

5 medium potato
8 slices bacon
1 cup onion -- chopped
2/3 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup fresh parsley -- chopped
1 1/2 Teaspoons garlic -- - minced
1 1/2 Teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese -- divided
1 cup green onions -- sliced -- divided
1/4 cup fresh parsley -- chopped

1. Wash potatoes; prick several times with a fork. Bake at 400
degrees for 1 hour or until done; let cool. Peel potatoes, and slice
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, reserving
drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
3. Cook onion in drippings, stirring constantly, until tender; add
flour, stirring well. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually
add chicken broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until
mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in potato, half-and-half, and
next 6 ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes
(do not boil). Stir in 1 cup cheese and 1/4 cup green onions. Cook
until cheese melts, stirring often.
4. Ladle soup into individual soup bowls. Top evenly with crumbled
Sprinkle evenly with remaining 3/4 cup cheese, 3/4 cup green onions,
and parsley.

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