To make potato and cheddar cheese soup, cook 1/4 pound of bacon over medium heat in a large saucepan until it is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and place it on paper towels to drain. Pour off some of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add one large chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion pieces are translucent. Stir in 3 pounds of diced potatoes, 4 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the ingredients in the pan to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the potatoes are tender, remove half of the soup from the pan and use a blender to puree it in batches, cooling the soup slightly before adding it to the blender. You can use a potato masher instead of a blender, although the consistency may not be as smooth. Pour the puree back into the pan. Turn the heat to low, and add 6 ounces of cheddar cheese, stirring until it melts. Crumble the bacon, and place some on top of each serving, along with 1/4 cup of chopped chives or scallions.Learn more about Cooking