Recipe 25: Mac and Cheese SoupPosted: June 14, 2012
Hello, Weekly Mackers. I don’t know what the weather’s been like by you, but here at the Maison de Mac, it has been ridonkulous-hot. I confess I may be biased: I tend to handle weather extremes quite poorly, especially when it’s extreme heat. I have not been feeling like doing a whole lot in the kitchen, especially if it involves hovering over the stove-top. But I can’t let y’all down, can I?
I knew looking at this recipe that it would probably be better suited for the fall or winter, but I couldn’t resist. Last time I made a recipe that was less than mac, it was a dismal failure. I couldn’t just leave the category like that, I needed to give it a chance to redeem itself. So I braved the sweltering hot of my kitchen to whip this up. Oh, the things I do for the love of the Internetz!
Mac and Cheese Soup (from This Woman Cooks)
- 1 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni (I used rice fusilli)
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup minced celery (I left this out, but maybe should have kept it in)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free equivalent)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used sake because that’s what I had open – and no white wine at home)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups whole milk (I used skim)
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese – optional (not “optional” in my book!)
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Cook macaroni in large pot of salted water according to package direction; 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 (this got really quite clumpy for me). Deglaze with wine and simmer until nearly evaporated (I didn’t simmer long enough; I think I felt panicky over the clumpiness). Stir in broth, mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes, then whisk and warm through. Do not let boil or base may become grainy.
(Note: Nowhere in the original recipe does it indicate when to add the milk. I added it around now.)
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 bleu cheese and chives in a small bowl. Garnish each serving with bleu cheese mixture.
This was not a bad recipe, but it could have been better. I think maybe 1/2 cup more noodles would have been better, and maybe the addition of bacon. I should have used the whole milk instead of skim; it would have been thicker and heartier. however, you see the addition of the lemon juice at the end? This isn’t so much for a note of citrus, but rather because by adding the acid tot he milk, it causes it to mildly curdle; not in a bad way, but in a way that actually helps thicken it slightly (fun fact: If you add acid to warmed milk, it can be the beginning of creating some homemade ricotta). The soup had a feel rather like a potato soup, but a little salty – maybe my stock wasn’t low sodium? I didn’t check, but I usually just buy the normal stock. The addition of the blue cheese was not optional in my opinion, and not just because of my affinity for the stuff; it added a savory note that helped interrupt the somewhat salty overtones.
Have you ever made any of the recipes here? Do you have any suggestions for me to make? Let me know!