One of my mom’s dear friends is a classically-trained French chef. I had this rather outlandish fantasy of her slaving in her kitchen, whipping up coq au vin and delicate vegetables, along with heady spices and herbs for her children on a nightly basis.
It was not until this week that I learned the devastating truth. Her kids like basic American food just as much as the rest of us.
Apparently, one of her children’s most oft-requested meals is Macaroni and Cheese Soup – a recipe so embarrassingly simple that I wasn’t even sure I should share it. But it is quite inexpensive and delicious; a welcome respite from rich foods and evenings out in the city.
I modified it slightly to add a little extra flavor.
- One box, Annie’s Homegrown Mac & Cheese
- 10 oz. Birds Eye frozen mixed vegetables (the one with beans, carrots, corn & peas)
- 1/4 cup margarine (I used Smart Balance)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 14 oz cans of chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- A few twists of fresh ground black pepper and pinch of Hungarian paprika (optional)
Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables and cook another 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt the margarine in the same pot. Add the flour and cheese packet from the Annie’s box. Mix well. Slowly stir in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the vegetables, macaroni, paprika and black pepper and heat through. Serve with a nice, crusty bread and a glass of Sancerre.
Confession: I eat Annie’s Mac & Cheese at least once a week. So often that I now buy in bulk, as if I were feeding a family of four rather than just my single-girl self. This soup is a nice way to mix things up and feel like I’m meeting my veggie quota as well.