To prepare an easy imitation recipe for O'Charley's Baked Potato Soup, dice 3 pounds of unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Boil the potatoes in a large stock pot or Dutch oven for about 10 minutes, or until they are cooked about three-fourths of the way through.
In a separate large pot, melt 1/4 cup of margarine over low heat. Add 1/4 cup of flour and mix them together until smooth. Keep the heat low and slowly whisk in 8 cups of half-and-half, stirring continuously until the liquid is smooth and starts to thicken.
Melt a 16-ounce block of Velveeta according to the instructions on the package and stir it into the cream mixture. Also, drain the potatoes and add them. Stir in 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce along with garlic powder and white pepper to taste. Once everything is mixed well, cover the pot and cook the soup on low for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to be certain the potatoes are not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
When ready to serve, pour into bowls and garnish according to individual taste. Topping ideas include crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, chives or parsley. This recipe makes approximately 12 large servings.