BACON CRUMBLE :
4 slices bacon finely chopped
¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
CHICKEN POTATO SOUP :
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 ½ cups 2% milk or whole milk
3 large carrots chopped
4 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and diced (about 2 lbs)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 ½ cups cooked chicken breast cut in cubes or shredded
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
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In a small skillet over medium heat fry the chopped bacon until brown and crispy. Add the Panko Breadcrumbs to the skillet cooking for 2 minutes or until lightly browned while stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs.
Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot. Add the onion and celery and cook until the vegetables are tender. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sprinkle in the flour. Continue cooking for 2 minutes while stirring.
Slowly stir in the chicken broth and milk alternating between them. Bring the mixture to a low boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the carrots and potatoes and simmer until fork tender. Reduce the heat to as low as it will go and whisk in the cheese a little at a time until melted. Add the cooked chicken breast and stir to warm.
Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dish the soup into the bowls and top with a heaping tablespoon of the bacon mixture.