Keep this potato soup simple with indoor cooking, or add flair and flavor with smoked toppings. Either way, get ready to cozy up with this warming, filling, creamy crowd-pleaser.
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked on foil in a grill or smoker, or in a stovetop pan, with grease reserved
1 bunch green onions, trimmed, sliced, and separated into greens and whites
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
6 C. whole milk
2 lb. potatoes, Russet or Yukon Gold, sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. Head Country Championship Seasoning, Original or High Plains Heat
salt and pepper
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce, Original, Hot & Spicy, Chipotle, Sugar Free
1 C. cheddar cheese, freshly grated, plus more to serve
To make the candied jalapeños
6-8 jalapeños trimmed, halved, and deseeded
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 C. Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce
1 tsp. Head Country Championship Seasoning
2 Tbsp. apple-cider vinegar1 Tbsp. water
First, start the candied jalapeños. In a small bowl, combine sugar, Head Country Championship Seasoning, Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce, apple-cider vinegar, and water. Spread jalapeños on a small rimmed baking sheet and toss with the BBQ sauce mixture. Add to a 300-degree F. oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until caramelized. (These can be made on the grill or the smoker, too.) Once cooled, slice into strips.
Meanwhile, heat reserved bacon grease (olive oil works, too) in a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Add garlic and whites of green onions and cook until fragrant. Add potatoes, milk, and Head Country Championship Seasoning. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook potatoes for 12 minutes, or until just tender.
Use an immersion blender or potato masher to blend the potatoes with the milk to desired consistency, textured or smooth. Add sour cream, BBQ sauce, and cheese, stirring to combine.
Divide the soup between bowls, setting out sour cream, the greens of the onions, extra shredded cheese, BBQ sauce, and the candied jalapeños as toppings. Enjoy!