2tbsp bacon greaseor olive oil if using bacon bits in a bag
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, and scallions. Set aside.
Chop the bacon into bits. Cook the bacon in a stock pot until crunchy.
Remove bacon and drippings from the pot leaving 2 tablespoons to remain. Save the bacon. Discard the excess drippings or save for another use.
Have the chicken broth ready. Into the bacon grease which remains in the stockpot, add the flour. Cook on medium/low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk to eliminate lumps from forming. (Be careful, flour burns quickly).
Once the flour mixture is light golden brown, slowly whisk in the chicken broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil on medium/high heat.
Add the chopped carrots, potatoes, celery, and red onion. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender.
Using an infusion blender, blend the vegetables and chicken broth mixture until creamy. If an infusion blender is not available, allow to cool slightly and transfer the mixture into a regular blender, then transfer back to the pot once blended. (That’s currently what I do.)
Add the seasoning: salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder.
While still warm stir in the shredded cheese and reserved bacon. (Save a little bit to sprinkle on the top later).
Once slightly cooled, stir in the sour cream and half & half.
Serve with shredded cheese, bacon bits, and chopped scallions on top.