Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life and Magic Soup Mac and Cheese Soup

OK, I know that I haven't posted for a bit, but I have reasons. And I think they are pretty good ones. But I'll let you judge for yourselves.

Reason #1....Our oldest grown son has been living with us this summer as he fights oral cancer. He's done with treatments and now the healing begins. It's gonna take awhile, but he's got the stuff to kick this. On a side note...if you didn't watch the "Stand Up 2 Cancer" telethon, you missed something very special. Go there and donate. Anyway, cooking soups for him a
nd doc appointments, etc. have kept me somewhat busy with him.

Reason #2....I try to keep my adorable grandson one day a week to help out his parents.

Reason #3....It seems my husband was feeling neglected and developed a tumor that is hindering his breathing, so now we have all the doc st
uff to do with that coming up.

Reason #4....I work for myself as a private in-home tutor, and after taking most of the summer off for family issues I am trying to get build my clientele back to what it was.


As they say, "Man makes plans and God laughs." He must be really killing himself about now.

But amidst the chaos arose what my son calls "the magic soup." See, he had radiation on his neck and mouth and can only handle extremely pureed foods. Yummmm! He still has his taste buds, so I have diligently worked at trying to develop tasty yet smoooooth soups. As I was pondering what to make for him next my little brain had a thought. Mac and cheese are like the ultimate comfort soup, so why not a mac and cheese soup? And I did, and it was yummy, and it goes down my son's gullet with great ease. Thus, the nomer "magic soup."

Now, a few words of warning....this soup is EXTREMELY loaded with fat. That is by design. My son needs as many calories as he can get down. And so far, we have done well in that department. So, with that said, here's the how to of the soup.

Ingredients

1/2 lb. bacon

1/2 large onion sliced in strings
1 TBS. bacon fat (reserved from frying the bacon)
1 TBS. butter
2 1/2 qts. chicken broth or vegetable broth (boullion cubes work well for this)
1 box Dreamfields rotini (or any other small pasta...about 1 lb.)
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour

1 qt. half and half or any type of milk you want (I am trying to calorie load)
1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese grated

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 cup Guyere cheese grated
1/2 pound Velveeta cubed

1 TBS. fresh savory minced
fresh grated nutmeg

fresh ground pepper

For efficiency, have all the cheese grated and herbs mince
d before you start.

Fry the bacon. When the bacon is done remove it to paper towels to cool while finishing the soup. Drain most of the bacon fat leaving about 1 TBS. Add 1 TBS. butter to skillet and the thinly sliced strings of onion. Caramelize the onion. While the onion is caramelizing, cook the pasta in chicken broth according to package directions. When the pasta is done D
O NOT drain. Just leave the pasta in the broth. You will wanted to cook the pasta al dente so it doesn't turn to mush.

Now some juggling comes into play. Before the pasta is fi
nished, make a roux of the butter and flour, then add the onions. Add the half and half slowly, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. When thickened add to the broth and pasta. After these are mixed well, add the cheeses fairly slowly, stirring until melted. If it seems a bit thick you can add more liquid. Water seems to work just fine. At the end add the savory, chopped fried bacon, some grated nutmeg (don't get carried away with this...a little goes along way), and fresh pepper. Between the chicken broth and the cheese you most likely won't need to add salt.

This is one of those recipes you can really adjust to fit
your tastes. You can use any melty type of cheese, but be sure to include the Velveeta. That gives it the really smooth texture. I used the savory because it is growing in my little window herb garden, and it just smelled like it should go into the soup. The nutmeg really adds a nice touch. And be warned, this makes a huge batch of soup. Be prepared to give some away, although my son wouldn't let me. In fact, come Friday I have to make another batch. Enjoy!

2 comments:

Mara said...

Wow! Decedent brilliance...

Toftie said...

That sounds positively delicious although if I decided to spoil myself I'd probably make your funeral potatoes since I am a die-hard potato fiend.

My thoughts are with your whole family. Good healthy healing thoughts. You are definitely earning mother of the year and all three boys (husband, son, and grandson) are lucky to have you.