Heat oven to 425°F. Clean the baking potatoes and pierce each with a fork. Cover in foil and bake for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and cool to touch. Peel the potatoes. Roughly mash two of the potatoes, and dice the other two potatoes. Set the potatoes aside.
While the potatoes cook, place the sliced bacon in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon until just crisp and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and save the rest for later use. (Be sure to refrigerate the excess bacon grease, if any.)
Add 4 tablespoons butter to the bacon grease and turn the heat to low. When grease/butter mixture is just hot, add the diced carrots and cook (covered) for 3 minutes. Cover and stir every 1 minute. Add the onions, cover and cook for and additional 3 minutes, stirring every minute.
When the carrots are tender, turn the heat to low, remove the lid and add the minced garlic. Cook 1 more minute.
Sprinkle the sautéed vegetables with the flour, stir and cook over low heat 1 minute. Stir constantly.
Add the milk and vegetable broth while stirring/whisking continuously.
Turn heat to medium, and whisk continuously while adding the milk and vegetable stock. Cook and whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until mixture thickens, 10-20 minutes.
Stir in the potatoes, cheese and sour cream. Taste, then season with salt & black pepper.
Garnish with your favorite baked potato toppings:
Crispy bacon, extra cheese, butter, sliced green onions, crushed crackers, cooked sausage, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chopped jalapenos, chopped cilantro, cooked cubed chicken, cooked ground beef.
Note: If soup becomes too thick, add more vegetable stock. If it is too thin, cook until it becomes the desired consistency.