Sunday, April 22, 2007

Macaroni & Cheese Soup

This is a recipe I made up to make a healtheir meal out of a family favorite. My kids love macaroni and cheese,but the soup is healthier with added veggies and no processed cheese! Plus, research has shown people who eat soup more often consume less total calories than those who don't! This soup is a winner at our house!

Prep: 20 minutes (including cooking noodles)
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup elbow macaroni noodles, prepared according to package directions
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup cooked carrots
1/2 cup corn niblets
pepper to taste
dash of onion powder
tiny dash of dry mustard

In large saucepan combine soup and milk. Blend until smooth and heat but not to boiling. Stir in cheese. Stir in pepper, onion powder and dry mustard. Add vegetables and cooked, drained noodles. Heat through and serve.

Tips and Tricks
Use novelty macaroni such as ABC pasta or character pasta for a fun, kid-oriented meal. You can add any vegetables, including frozen veggies right from the freezer. You can also substitute the type of cheese-some ideas include mozzarella and monterey jack. For a meatless meal, you can substitute cheddar cheese soup for the chicken soup & the cheese, or you can use cream of celery soup. I cook the noodles while I heat the soup which makes for a super fast prep.

Make it Healthier
Use whole wheat pasta, reduced fat cheese, and reduced sodium soup.

How kids can help:
Older kids can shred the cheese, little ones can set the table. This soup whips up so fast that there's not a lot of wait time for hungry little ones.

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