5 lbs. baking potatoes (6 large potatoes)
3 c. milk at room temperature
1 stick butter
3 c. onion, minced
7 1/2 c. chicken stock (or 1-2 heaping tbsp of "Better than Bouillon" dissolved in 7 1/2 cups water)
1/2-3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. salt
sour cream, grated cheddar, chives and/or imitation bacon for garnish
Preheat oven to 350º
Wash and dry potatoes, poke with a fork and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until soft. Cool to room temperature (refrigerate for 1 hour to speed up the cooling).
Remove the skins and coarsely chop the potatoes. Set aside.
Place 1 1/2 c. of chopped potatoes into a blender and blend with a little water to make the potatoes thin, yet smooth and creamy.
In a large, heavy pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent (approx. 10 minutes).
In a separate pan, heat the chicken broth to boiling.
Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix the flour into the onion mixture and continue stirring for 3 minutes. Do not brown.
While stirring the mixture, slowly add the rest of the chicken broth to the onion mixture. Next, add the potato puree and mix well.
Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. STIR OFTEN TO AVOID SCORCHING THE BOTTOM.
Add milk, parsley, thyme, salt, papper and remaining chopped potatoes. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring often. If soup is too thick, thin with more milk.
Serve garnished with sour cream, cheddar, chives and/or imitation bacon.