It's a cold night. I have potatoes, celery, carrots and onions to put to use. So...Baked Potato Soup it is!
"Bake" 4 - 6 medium potatoes,about 1 1/2 pounds, in the microwave oven (pierce them all over with a fork first).
Chop about 1/2 cup each of carrots, onion and celery. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Put in chopped veggies, cover and cook until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle,reserve two, peel the remaining potatoes, or leave some peel on, as desired, add to veggies and mash with a potato masher.
Stir in 1 c. chicken stock and 1 1/2 c. milk to veggies and potatoes, salt and pepper to taste. I also added a pinch of nutmeg. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
While soup is simmering, cook 4 or 5 pieces of bacon in the microwave, covered with a paper towel, for 1 minute per slice. When cool, drain and crumble. Add about 2/3 of the bacon to the soup, along with about a Tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary and the reserved baked potatoes, chopped. Continue to simmer until you are ready to eat, which should be fairly soon after smelling all of this! You may need to add about another 1/2 c. of milk prior to serving. (I did.)
Serve topped with a little more crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar.