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by on February 4th, 2011

Mac n’ Cheese Soup

Move over little blue box (and I don’t mean Tiffany’s)!

I was sitting out by the pool the other day, can’t get in it now because the water has cooled down to a chilly 54°. Atlas, another pool season come and gone. Back from our trip, holidays over, and nothing to do but sit and flip through old food magazines, trying to see which ones I will get rid of and what recipes I want to finally try. We are having 4 days straight of below freezing temperatures this week and it is the perfect time to try a new soup recipe.

All I can say is,  “cheesy and delicious”!

So, Mac n’ Cheese. Who doesn’t like the gooey, hot, cheesy stuff. I have always liked cooking and I guess I have always thought I was a pretty good cook.  When my kids were little there were two things they never liked HOMEMADE — blueberry muffins and macaroni and cheese.  They wanted blueberry muffins from a box because they liked the little wild blueberries and macaroni and cheese had to come from the little blue box — Kraft, probably because of the artificial color that made the macaroni and cheese such a pretty orange color.  Now, they appreciate anything homemade and they are all wonderful cooks even though they did eat some of those boxed items (that aren’t that good for us) and occasionally (more often than we should have) made trips to fast food burger places.

Flipping though an old issue of Cuisine at Home I found a page I had dog eared for Mac ‘n Cheese Soup a few months ago and knew, after reading the ingredients, that it was going to be delicious and had to go to the top of the list of “must trys”.

So, maybe you are sitting in front of a roaring fire or around a fire pit enjoying some cool or cold weather (finally) when you have this soup, just think of those good old days of eating that Kraft macaroni and cheese and take delight in this bowl of soup. If you happen to try this soup and like it (or don’t or have some suggestions, please leave a comment at the bottom of page.)

Gather all your ingredients together so you aren’t running back and forth to your pantry.

Sweat your onions and celery until translucent. As you can see, mine started browning a little because I wasn’t watching over the pot.

After you have sweated the celery and onion, add the flour and then you will add the broth, wine and spices. I would go a little easy next time on the nutmeg.

The recipe calls for whole milk but I used 1% and it was still a rich and creamy soup.

Mac n’ Cheese Soup

1 1/2 c. dry elbow macaroni
1/2 c. minced onion
1/4 c. minced celery
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dry white wine
2 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (or less)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 c. whole milk
4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives

Cook macaroni in a pot of salted water according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Sweat onion and celery in butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour to coat and cook 1 minute. Deglaze with wine and simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in broth, mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes, then whisk in milk and warm through. Do not let boil or base may become grainy.

Add cheddar, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next cup. Stir in macaroni, lemon juice, and salt; remove from heat.

Combine blue cheese and chives in a small bowl. Garnish each serving with blue cheese mixture.

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