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Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for one minute more. Whisk in flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually pour in the chicken broth and whisk until combined. Stir in potatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer (do not boil).
Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes, stirring often to keep the bottom from burning.
Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp. Drain grease and chop into bite sized pieces.
Stir in sour cream, half of the shredded cheddar cheese, and half of the bacon. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. If the soup is too thick, add more milk as needed until the consistency is to your liking.
Serve immediately, garnished with chives, and the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and bacon, if desired.