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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

MACS & CHEESE SOUP (Comfort Food at it's Best)

Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/food-network-magazine/
My husband found this recipe when he was looking through some of my magazines and placed it in my hand and said, "we have to have this and sooner would be better than later." So I obliged him and put my own spin on it as I am bad to do and it is now ranked amongst our 'very favorite things'. It is not low calorie, though it is lower calorie than the classic baked macs & cheese, and it is most definitely not low carb either. But when you cook for a tall, thin man, whom I have been cooking for over 35 years, and have not put even 1 ounce of fat on him, you come to the reality that it is not going to happen, so when he asks for something special I don't mind to deliver. And deliver I did! It is delicious and I guarantee it to warm not only your belly but your soul.
1 cup elbow macaroni
2 Roma tomatoes, skin-on, sliced 1/2-inch thick
4 (1/2-inch thick) slices baguette
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sweet onion, diced fine
1 good sized carrot, diced fine
1 to 2 stalks celery, diced fine
1/4 cup plain flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place oven rack in the upper third.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add macaroni and cook just until al dente (firm to the bite).
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place tomato and baguette slices on it. Season with sea salt and pepper. Bake until bread is golden, turning once, this step will not take long.
Melt butter in large pot, add onion, carrot and celery, saute for 3 or 4 minutes until nicely softened. Add flour, cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Gradually add the broth and allow to come to a boil, stir until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes, remove from heat. Add milk, cheeses and macaroni, stirring until cheeses are melted. Season again to taste.
Top each individual serving with baguette slices topped with tomatoes.
Serves 4

"But I love fish, cheese and meat, and I eat everything, but only in small quantities if it's rich."~Eva Herzigova

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