Jan 19, 2012

Skinny Macaroni and Cheese Soup with Broccoli



A classic, kid-friendly comfort dish made into a soup. A great way to sneak some veggies into those picky tummies while enjoying a tasty warm bowl of soup.


I was a picky kid growing up, I remember the first time I liked broccoli it was smothered with melted cheese. Not really a bad thing because I got my serving of dairy and it was the start of my adoration for broccoli.

Using the same principal, this soup will please those picky palates while still serving plenty of vegetables such as carrots, celery and broccoli. You can cook the broccoli to your family's liking. Adults tend to like it tender crisp, while I find for the kids, if you cook it longer it dissolves into the soup making it impossible for them to pick out and they may even realize broccoli is not so bad after all!


Personally, I found one cup was satisfying as I had this for lunch, but if you would like to make this four servings for a larger bowl, the Weight Watcher Points would increase to 8 points plus, and the calories would increase to 315 per bowl. Enjoy!!



Skinny Macaroni and Cheese Soup with Broccoli
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts

Calories: 252.7 • Fat: 9.5 g Carb: 27.8 g Fiber: 3.9 g Protein: 16.8 g • Sugar: 3.5 g
Sodium: 590.4 mg (without salt) 

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:


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.

109 comments :

  1. Very creative twist on mac and cheese - and I love it with broccoli!

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  2. This looks amazing!! I am so excited to try it!

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  3. Can't wait 2 make this and its totally allowed on my healthy meal plan that makes it even better!!!!!! Thanks for sharing ur recipes!

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  4. Ohhh I love this flavor profile idea!! Way better than my 5 tons of cheese version :-P

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  5. Man, I wish I had seen this post before I went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for the baked potato soup....guess we'll be having soup two nights in a row this week because this looks divine.

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  6. Yummy, yummy! Would be perfect for the cooler weather that has blown in recently... Some diced ham would be a nice addition!

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  7. Such a creative spin on mac and cheese! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Definitely making this for dinner tonight!

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  9. It was a fun soup, if you like it cheesier, you could add more cheese to it and adjust the points. I didn't want to over cheese it, although... is that possible? Can you tell I like cheese!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gina, for all your creativity and hard work! Your recipes may actually help me lose some pounds and improve my health!!

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  10. Can I add ground turkey to this? If so, should I just brown it in a skillet and add it in? Thanks Gina, I cook exclusively from your blog.

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  11. This looks great Gina! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  12. Hi Gina,
    I have to give you some kudos. I am a food stylist and food blogger in chicago. We were on a shoot today and someone mentioned my blog...
    Next thing you knew we were talking about blogs. Your's came up in a very positive light. One of the art directors said she made a recipe of yours and she loved it.
    Now that is so cool I thought you should know.

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  13. Oh my goodness! I would have never thought to make a mac n' cheese soup but I love this!

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  14. Gina! This is delicious! I made it today right after you posted it and my almost-3-year old ate it for lunch and asked for the soup for dinner as well! I enjoyed it too. Thank you so much for your recipes!

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  15. I also love Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta, but it has become increasingly hard to find. I was wondering if anyone else was finding the same thing....

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  16. I love love your soups and all other recipes. They are so easy to make and healthy. Thank you! Any chance on trying to make a healthy chicken tetrazzini? My MIL makes the best one but I feel so quilty eating it . I can't imagine how much calories it has in it .

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  17. I made this tonight and it turned out great! Thanks for the awesome recipes!

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  18. Don't you love when you really want to make a recipe and realize that you have everything you need already??? YAY!!

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  19. Macaroni & cheese into a soup and broccoli??!!! Oh how I love your recipes GINA!! These are major favs of mine & I have to try. Thank you! :-)

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  20. Can't wait to try this recipe...it sounds wonderful!!!

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  21. Your site is really getting popular. I think you are going to be the Skinny Pioneer Woman! I haven't tried a recipe I didn't love from this site and the fact that they are man/kid friendly is an added treat. I want a cookbook!

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  22. Hi Gina - I'm a huge fan of your blog and have been enjoying trying your recipes (doing the Salisbury Steak tomorrow night for a dinner party!). I just got a slow cooker and I wondered about adapting this recipe for that. Any thoughts on how that would work? Thanks again for all the great posts.

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  23. Gina-I have to say, I love your site. So many great options. My husband has loved everything I have made of yours so far!
    For this recipe, Can I omit the dried mustard Or exchange it with something else?

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  24. Would whole wheat pasta work or is there a reason you used the other kind?

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  25. This looks delicious! How does it hold up for leftovers? You said it needed to be served right away, so I'm guessing it's not as good if you eat it for lunch the next day?

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  26. I haven't made this specific recipe, but wanted to tell you I just found your site and LOVE it! I have been losing weight - about 15 pounds so far. It took a LONG time and during that long time I have been eating baked chicken breasts, brown rice and a salad ... EVERY night for the last 3 months and let me tell you - It has gotten very boring. Now I can make creative appetizing dishes AND stay on my weight loss track! Plus my boyfriend loves it because whenever I used to make recipes out of the cookbook they usually didn't have pictures, so he couldn't visualize what he wanted. Now I can just open up my "recipe box" and he points to a picture and we make it! THANK YOU SO MUCH! :)

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  27. So glad yo all liked it. :)

    You could use any pasta, I like Smart Taste but whole wheat pasta (I'm not a fan) or low carb pasta such as Dreamfield's or even regular pasta would work.

    You can leave the mustard powder out if you wish.


    I don't think I would make this in the crock pot, it requires too much work over the stove.

    Jessie, Skinny Pioneer Woman, cute!

    Chicken tetrazzini, yeah that would be challenging!!!

    You could reheat leftovers for lunch, but I personally am picky with pasta in soups. I don't like how they get soft as they sit, I'm an al dente girl. That's just me, my daughter prefers it that way so I'm sure it's fine for most of you.

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  28. I am planning on trying this tonight! It looks amazing!!

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  29. This is SUCH a great twist to typical, high-calorie, fat-laden mac and cheese. I will absolutely try this tomorrow or later on this week. I don't think I've ever been this excited about a recipe! It is just SO simple and I have all the ingredients on hand... for once!

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  30. I feel like a stalker because I check your blog almost daily for new recipes! LOL This looks fantastic and I am definitely going to have to try it out this weekend. Soup sounds great, especially with all the snow we're getting here! :) Keep up the awesome work, I send people all the time to check out your recipes because they rock. :)

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  31. Made this tonight. I didn't have broccoli and was out of spinach but had frozen spinach so I used that. I used about 1/2-3/4 drained spinach and I really liked the flavor. I was also out of cheddar and used a shredded Mexican blend. I was not disappointed. This was sooo good. Thanks so much for all these recipes. I'm cooking more and more of them and haven't been disappointed yet. Way better than WW dishes,

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  32. That looks delicious! And your photographs are GORGEOUS! I can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

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  33. Made this for dinner tonight. It was really good and filling! I used whole wheat elbow noodles and cooked the broccoli for a few extra minutes. Thanks for the recipe!

    Laura

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  34. Classic comfort food....deslish. I love how broccoli soaks up the flavour too. It's my favourite veg for any 'saucy' dishes!

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  35. Do you think I could use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?

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  36. Made this last night for dinner and enjoying some for lunch today. It is sooo good! I agree it is a great way to get picky eaters to get their veggies! And perfect comfort food for the rainy weather we are having. ;-)

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  37. Oh I love ur photos...now I feel like mac and cheese soup with broccoli, hah :D

    If ur interested, check out my new blog! I write about getting fit with great food and exercise, my goal is to look and feel amazing :)

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  38. Yummy! I just made this soup tonight and it was very good. I did have a problem getting the cheddar cheese to mix into the soup. It kind of made small clumps in the soup, but I still enjoyed it! I wonder if using pre-grated cheese was the cause?

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  39. Just made this for dinner tonight..As usual GINA...wonderful and my hubby loved it.. Actually he loves most things I make because HE CANNOT COOK!!!

    Will email you my photo of your dish!

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  40. I added some shredded chicken and it was great...

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  41. I absolutely adored this when I made it, but since its just me I have a lot of left overs. I made a bunch of extra noodles and coated them with soup. I'm hoping all the soup will get sucked up by the noodles and I will have am amazing heat and go side for quick dinner nights.

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  42. Definitely an amazing soup! Very yummy, and well worth it. I think I ended up with 6 servings though! I figured I added more veggies but it was super yum. So i adjusted my points! Thanks for providing these recipes to stay on track to better health.

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  43. This is going on my menu for next week. It looks delicious! I'm going to keep the pasta separate, since there's only two of us and I don't want the leftovers to have super-soggy pasta. Any idea about how much pasta goes into each serving in terms of cups? If not, no big deal, I'll just measure it after it's cooked and divide it up.

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  44. I had leftovers and put pasta in separate container from the veggies/etc. reheat will be ok I think...if not will add some broth to make more liquid...

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  45. Delicious, nutritious, pretty and tasty soup. Had no problems until I put lid on to cook for 10 minutes then it curdled a tad ~ might be that my stovetop does not go from hot to simmer quickly. Thanks from a soup lover ~ ir ia my winter staple. Blessings!

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  46. I'm really happy you all liked it! Be sure to take the soup off the heat before adding the cheese, otherwise it will curdle.

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  47. This looks really tasty from the great pictures and I think I will be trying it soon. Great way to get some healthy veggies into your kids without a fight!

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  48. Loved this! I used whole wheat fusilli noodles, which are my favorite. I also added some bell pepper, since I had some. It was delicious. I actually got a lot more than just 5 cups. I got almost 8.

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  49. Will this freeze well? Looks very yummy!!

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  50. I made this for the family tonight. The kids REALLY liked it, and that doesn't happen very often. Thank you for your wonderful website!!

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  51. Wow, do those pictures not do the taste justice, i mean it is better even in taste than the gorgeous photos...hungry again, dang, gotta go make some more!! GREAT stuff. thanks

    Sheila

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  52. Just made this for dinner tonite and it was amazing! I even got my picky 2 year old to eat it too! Love your recipes!!

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  53. Just made this for dinner... funny thing when you expect leftovers and there is none. I had to hide away a bowl to pack for my husbands lunch tomorrow! He's so excited. TY LOVE the site, it has become my go to site.

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  54. I made this for lunch today for my 13 month old and myself. I made a few changes based on what I had on hand, and my personal preference. I swapped the broccoli for cauliflower. I omitted the mustard seed and the nutmeg and added cayenne. I also swapped the flour for cornstarch.
    It was so delicious! I love meals that my toddler and I can enjoy together. He loved it too!

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  55. Oh my goodness! I love Mac N Cheese but it's so often made with horrible processed stuff that I steer well clear of it! I'm making this sometime this week for definite!

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  56. I have made many of your recipes and loved them.. This was not one of the ones we loved. Just OK. Well, win some lose some. Keep up the great work. I always look forward to your latest entries.

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  57. I made this last night. It was incredible!!! I wanted to bulk it up so I used twice the amount of broccoli and an extra two cups of vegetable broth, and it was plenty thick and creamy. I will definitely make this again!

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  58. Hi Gina,
    I just made this for lunch today and it was amazing!!!!! I subbed 2% velveeta for the cheddar as that is what I had on hand. I also added 1/4lb 96% ground beef but I got almost 7 servings so evened out. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was perfect for the cold, rainy Pacific northwest day! Julie

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  59. Made this a few nights ago. The only thing I didn't have was celery, so I just left it out. It was SO delicious and just as good the next day. Will definitely be making this again.

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  60. Gina! I just made this... I didn't change a thing and it is DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for making all these wonderful recipes that are WW friendly!

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  61. Gina, this is the first recipe of yours I made and it is wonderful! Very easy and absolutely delicious. Thanks for the great recipes!

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  62. This was so yummy! We left out the celery because I don't like it. I know it would add some calories but I think some ground beef would be awesome in here!

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  63. This was easy to prepare and tasted amazing! My husband loved it, as well. We didn't have any celery on hand, but I added in some cauliflower, instead. We kept the pasta separate since we were going to have some leftovers and didn't want it to get mushy. The vegetables in it are so hearty, you really don't need that much pasta at all. We will definitely make again!

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  64. Broccoli and cheese is a great combo for a soup!

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  65. wow... yum... I am going to attempt to make this gluten free.. and personalize it to my picky eaters... found your blog over at Jen's blog and can't wait to browse more! ;)

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  66. This was AWESOME. I did leave out the dry mustard and nutmeg (didn't have any) and it was still amazing. The first day it was watery like soup and the next day after sitting over night it thickened into an awesome mac and cheese texture. Either way this was good. And I used whole wheat elbows too. Delish!

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  67. I made this week and LOVED it! I am excited to try many more of your recipes! I love that you include the WW+ points!

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  68. Made this tonight and loved it! The whole family ate it, which pretty much never happens. I almost saved it for another night, because I realized I had accidentally used my chicken broth and was left with only beef broth. I couldn't quite wrap my head around how that would taste, but went ahead anyway. Am I ever glad I did...it had an almost French onion soup-type vibe (and I LOVE French onion soup!). I think I will make it this way again next time!

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  69. Jen from DR2/7/12, 9:08 PM

    I had to hide the leftovers from my husband! It was THAT good. Thanks Gina, you have done it again!

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  70. Loved this recipe! I was afraid it was going to taste like watery mac n' cheese but it was so flavorful!! I added a few slices of crumbled up bacon along with the broccoli just to get a little more protein in there. Took a leeeetle longer than I would have liked but it was worth the wait!

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  71. So my cheese wouldn't integrate either. I did take it off the heat and stirred. Any suggestions?

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  72. Made this yesterday for dinner. Amazing taste, quick and easy.

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  73. Made this last night for dinner! Thanks for the recipe, it was great! Even my husband loved it and took it today for lunch too!

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  74. Made this for the family Tuesday. They all turned their noses when they saw it. But they all LOVED it! I cooked the broc until very soft so that they could not pick it out (thanks for that suggestion), and I pureed the veggies. They asked that I make it again soon. I paired it with your bacon wrapped chicken bites. Thanks!!

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  75. Love this recipe! It's looking delicious and I also like light meals. I would like to try this recipe on my coming weekend. Thanks for this recipe.

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  76. Wow, this soup is great. I made it tonight and all I did different was switch out the milk for low fat buttermilk (wanted to use it up). I found the recipe on pinterest and have been looking around your site and marking a bunch of recipes to try. Thank you!

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  77. I made this the other day, and it was SO good! Every age of the family really liked it, and it was definitely warm and fulfilling. Thanks for the great recipe!

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  78. I have made this soup three times in the past 2 months - it is awesome! I love that it is easy to make, I have all the ingredients on hand, it is healthy and wonderful to make for a light dinner during a cold winter night. Thank you so much for your awesome recipes and pictures. My family thanks you too (more variety & great food)!

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  79. This was delicious!!! I'll admit I was shocked at how filling one serving was! My family loved it and my little guy who is a self proclaimed "not a soup guy" even loved it! I like one suggestion of pureeing the vegetables so I don't have to hear any little one's complaints; although I didn't do that this time I might next time around.

    All of your recipes so far have been winners in our home! I love that there are so many to choose from! I use your recipes to plan my week's menu and I know we are eating well but healthy at the same time. Thanks for your hard work!

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  80. I absolutely adore this soup. I made it today for lunch and even though I am no longer hungry after one cup of it, I can't wait to eat some more! I can sense this is going to become one of my favourite recipes. Well done!

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  81. This soup is wonderful and tasty! My sister-in-law mentioned your site. I had to take a look because I am trying to get the family to eat a little healthier. Can't wait to try other yummy sounding recipes.

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  82. Ooo!! I definitely want to try this, and this maybe a silly question but me being lactose intolerant, can I substitute the milk for almond milk, or what would be a better substitute?? Thanks!

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  83. Love this! Easy to make and tasty! Thanks!

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  84. Just discovered this! Made it as an after school snack and my daughter is on her second bowl.

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  85. I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit with the whole family! Even my 19 month old son couldn't get enough. My husband commented that he loved how the flavor "went through" the entire soup, unlike canned soup which can taste rather thin.

    I will be making this again! Thank you for the delicious recipe!

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  86. Picky Fiancee loooooved this. I cooked up some boneless chicken thighs and chopped them into little pieces and added. Perfect!

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  87. This was amazing! I'm saving this in my binder of amazing recipes :) Thank you for sharing!

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  88. Just made this again tonight. A huge hit with the husband and the 2 year old. I added some bell pepper to the veggie mix this time. :)

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  89. Just finished dinner & this was sooo...good!! Added cauliflower w/the broccoli, a small amount of low sodium diced ham, a touch of smoked provolone & a pinch of cayenne. Thanks for the great recipe. Will definitely make again.

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  90. Made this last night and it was amazing!!! I will definitely make it again

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  91. I made this today and it was delicious. Perfect for a rainy NY day. I will definitely make this again!!!

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  92. Yum Yum Yummy!! The whole family enjoyed it!

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  93. Did anyone else have the problem of the cheese sticking to the ladle and then the next day all of it becoming weird gummy bits on the bottom of the pot? When I eat the soup I just pick them out.. urgh
    Next time I will make Angela's ohsheglows cheeze sauce as it will integrate into the soup much better but still give it the creamy effect of cheese.

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  94. Yeah, this is the first disappointing recipe I have tried from Gina. I have made about 10 or so already and this one just didn't work out for me :( All of the cheese stuck to the bottom of the pot even after continuous stirring and when I calculated my calories it came out to about 380 per cup(not as skinny as I had hoped). Also my soup had a very strong broccoli taste and I know it says it in the name! I was hoping it would have more of mac and cheese taste with some broccoli but it was all broccoli taste. I may try again with some modifications like adding cooked broccoli at the very end and using low fat american cheese for more of that mac and cheese taste. -Maddi

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  95. Thank you for posting these easy to make, but delicious recipes! As someone who doesn't have a lot of experience cooking, I like that your recipes are straight forward and enjoy seeing the pictures, too. I have tried just three recipes so far (all in the past week!), but will try many more. This soup was my husband's favorite. He has loved all the dishes I made this week from your site. He's like...who are you and what have you done with my wife!! ;)

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  96. I made this the other night and my husband absolutely loved loved loved it! He said it tasted like panera's broccoli&cheddar soup which is a high complement since he gets it everytime we go. thank you for all the great recipes!

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  97. Soup is really gorgeous. I made some changes, but it is still the best soup I've ever made

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  98. I made this on Sunday and it had great flavor. Unfortunately my soup seperated during the step where you cover and let broth cook for 10-15 minutes. This was before I added any cheese. Maybe next time I might skip this step or keep it uncovered, or just keep a closer eye on it! But I will try it again because it was great!!!

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  99. This was delicious! It was a nice comfort food on one of those days where everyone was just a little bit under the weather. For the leftovers, I kept the pasta and soup separate, and mixed them together just before serving. Thanks for another winner, as usual!

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  100. I love this soup! I add tomatoes at the end with the broccoli. Yum! So filling. By the way.. where did you get those bowls?? so cute!

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  101. This soup was so yummy thanks Gina

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  102. I made this last night. My very picky 23-month old asked for seconds, and then thirds!

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  103. I made this again tonight and ot waa delish! I didnt have as much broccoli as I thought so I chopped it really fine and then added spinach to finish it off. Just as good!

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  104. This looks really yummy! Think I may make it for my family sometime this week! I love macaroni and cheese! <3

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  105. Just cooked this recipe now and loved it! I consider your website my cookbook most times :) I did also have problems with getting the cheese to melt. Any suggestions on avoiding this? I used Wegmans brand 2% sharp cheddar.

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