4 medium russet potatoes
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head broccoli, florets chopped (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the pot with the drippings; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out most of the flesh; set aside. Arrange the potatoes skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Bake until golden, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the potato flesh, 6 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the pot with the onion and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the broccoli is tender, about 8 minutes. Working in small batches, puree in a blender. Return to the pot and stir in the half-and-half; season with salt and pepper.
Remove the potato skins from the oven; flip and top with the cheese. Continue baking until bubbling and golden. Top each serving of soup with the bacon and serve with the potato skins.
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