- In a 4-quart saucepan, add the diced potatoes and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are almost done. Drain in a colander, cover, and set aside for a few minutes. In the same saucepan, melt the bacon seasoning or butter and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper, if using. Sauté for about five minutes until all are tender.
- Stir in flour and cook for about one minute, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes, milk, and dissolved bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, until the potatoes are completely soft. Note: Be sure to constantly stir to make sure the milk does not scorch. Add the cup of half-and-half or milk, salt, pepper, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon, if using. Cook a few minutes longer on low, again stirring constantly. Serve soup in bread bowls, if using, and garnish with bacon bits and grated cheese.