2 lbs bacon
5 lbs potatoes (Russet or Idaho Gold)
2 large white onions
5 stalks celery
5 carrots (or ~10 oz. bag of Julienne carrots)
12 chicken bullion cubes
3 ½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 spoonfuls minced garlic
3 ½ tsp basil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
5 tsp Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 stick butter
1 pint heavy whipping cream

Additional items and substitutes:
Cheese (sharp cheddar, longhorn, parmesan, i.e. cheese with character)
Sour Cream

Cut the bacon into 1” pieces. Fry the bacon in the stock pot until very crispy. Remove the bacon, and drain grease from stock pot (leave bacon “residue” in the pot). Peel the potatoes and cut into 1” cubes. Larger cubes will result in “chunkier” soup. Cut onions into fairly small chunks. Slice celery stalks. Julienne the carrots (if purchased whole). Put all in the pot, cover with water, and bring to a roiling boil.

Add the following: chicken bullion, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, basil, red pepper, and hot sauce.

Stir. Bring the soup to a rolling boil uncovered, then turn it down a bit to just a steady low boil, covered for 1.5-3 hrs. It does not have to be a heavy boil the whole time. Keep an eye on the soup, if it starts getting too thick, add some water right away and reduce it to a simmer. After boiling a few hours, it will thicken nicely. If short on time, the soup can be thickened by adding flour (flavor will not be as full though). Reduce the heat to a simmer. 

Stir in the bacon, butter, and whipping cream. Let simmer for ~1/2 hour. Serve with bread/butter, and favorite local brew.

Chicken stock (~4-8 cups stock; water to cover) may be substituted for bullion. Ham or 2 to 3 smoked ham hocks may be substituted for bacon. Up to 3 lbs of bacon has been used. Cheese may be added or used as topping.