6 slices bacon
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups mixture celery, carrots and onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1-2 cups chicken broth
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cubed ham
1 cup cheddar cheese

Cook bacon and crumble into pieces. Melt butter in soup pot. Add veggies, garlic and salt until soft. Add flour and stir everything for a few minutes. Add milk just a little bit at a time; stir after each addition until smooth (soup will start out thick but thin out as milk is added). Add potatoes, ham and chicken broth (for thicker soup use less broth). Let soup simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Cook until potatoes are soft. Before removing from heat, crumble the bacon and stir into soup. Add cheese.