4 slices bacon, chopped (about 4 ounces)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups whole milk
kosher salt and black pepper
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 TBSP chopped fresh chives
Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reserve 2 TBSP of the fat in the pot. Add the onion and garlic to the reserved pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, broth, milk, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very soft and the soup is slightly thickened, 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve warm topped with the Cheddar cheese, chives, and bacon.