4 stalks celery finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded, membrane removed and finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ Cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thinly sliced ham or Canadian bacon (or mini cubed ham)
32 oz chicken broth (or water & bouillon)
6 oz half and half (I used whole milk)
8-10 sm./med. potatoes, baked, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ Cup milk
4 oz sour cream
1 ½ Cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ Cup sour cream
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Cup thinly sliced green onion (green part)
1. Heat large dutch oven over medium heat. Cut bacon into pieces and cook until browned and crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard bacon grease, reserving 2 Tablespoons to sauté veggis. Saute celery, carrots, jalapeno, onion and bell pepper in bacon grease for 10 minutes, stirring often until softened. Stir in garlic and ham; cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in chicken broth and half and half.
2. Place mashed potatoes in a stand or electric mixer. Mix on medium speed adding salt, pepper and milk. Stir mashed potatoes into soup until combined. Heat for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in sour cream and cheese until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until ready to serve. Top with sour cream, bacon, cheese and green onion.