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Machine Shed Baked Potato Soup

2 1/2 lbs. baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 C. uncooked bacon, diced
1 jumbo onion, diced 1/4 of a bunch of celery, diced
2 quarts milk
1 quart water
2 oz. chicken base
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
3/4 C. margarine
3/4 C. flour
1/4 bunch freshly chopped parsley
1 C. whipping cream
Shredded Colby cheese, fried bacon bits and/or chopped green onions for garnish

In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain, set aside.

In large heavy pot, saute bacon, onion and celery over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pot, drain bacon grease, and return mixture to pot. Add milk, water, base, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, but do not let it boil.

In small, heavy saucepan melt margarine. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 1 minute to make a roux.

While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy. Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes and cream. Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three. Serve hot.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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