6 slices thin bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 small russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon thyme or 5 springs fresh thyme
1 rotisserie chicken (lemon pepper)
Add the bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but leave some in pot.
Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the carrots, celery and onions. Stir and cook for 3 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are starting to get tender, about 10-15 minutes. Whisk together the milk and flour, then pour the mixture into the soup; allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.
Shred rotisserie chicken and set aside to add later.
Remove about half of the soup and blend in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Add shredded chicken. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasoning, adding more if needed. Stir in the cream.
Serve in bowls garnished with the grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.