Lent: Skinny Macaroni and Cheese Soup with Broccoli

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Happy Lent! Every Friday I am going to try to make a meatless or seafood recipe since I can't have meat those days and I feel like I've been relying heavily on dead animals to carry my recipes recently. I'm going to try to change that up, and here's the first one to try out.

This recipe came from SkinnyTaste.com and is the first time that I've ever made a soup. I know that pasta is actually just a carb and should probably be avoided, but I used whole wheat pasta so I tried to make it a little better for you. Besides, you need carbs every once in a while and think of this recipe as a nice substitute for the all-around fattening mac and cheese. This recipe has some vegetables not found in typical comfort food, but they are disguised well in a pool of cheesy goodness. I was a fan of this recipe if you couldn't tell.

If you serve this with a salad you could have an easy complete meal. I doubled it and that would've been enough for a family, for me it's enough for a week.

Skinny Macaroni and Cheese Soup with Broccoli

  • 4 oz dry elbow macaroni (I like Ronzoni Smart Taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (about 10 oz) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic by hand or mini food processor.

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt light butter. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour and fresh pepper to the pot and stir until smooth. Slowly add chicken broth, milk, nutmeg and dry mustard powder; whisking constantly. Set heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil. Cover and cook on low about 10-15 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, Parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes or more to your liking.

Add cheddar, mixing well until cheese melts and immediately remove from heat. Add cooked elbows and mix well, adjust salt and pepper if needed. Eat right away so the pasta doesn't absorb all the broth.

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