Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!! I hope you have a day full of joy, laughter and delicious food, and that you make wonderful memories with your families. I am very THANKFUL for all of you!!!
I recently got an amazing sideboard/shelf/cabinet, that my Dad made for me. I wanted a shelf to put my cookbooks on, but I also wanted drawers, to hold our craft supplies, my linens for blog pictures, and odds and ends that I just couldn't seem to find a place for. I absolutely love it, but I had a difficult time deciding which cookbooks I wanted to put on the shelves. You see, I am a cookbook junkie. I have dozens of boxes in my basement, full of cookbooks. And, I keep buying more, or agreeing to review more, so my collection keeps growing and growing. I sure hope one of my kids takes to my love of cooking and cookbooks, otherwise they will have a lot to get rid of, when I get older.
The latest cookbook I received to review is 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds. I was SO EXCITED to read through this one. I LOVE soup and make it at least once a week, during the colder month. Now I have a book with 300 more recipes that I can try and add to my soup repertoire.
So many recipes caught my eye- Carrot, Celery and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Bacon, Texas Cowboy Soup. Since I have been craving homemade Macaroni and Cheese lately, I was very happy to find Mac & Cheese Soup. AND it was served with Bacon Croutons!!! That sealed the deal for me, LOL. This soup is awesome. I love the flavour the red pepper imparts. I think without the red pepper the soup would be very flat, it brings a much needed brightness and flavour. Somehow I thought the bacon would stick to the croutons and maybe they were suppose to, but those pretty much turned out to be croutons mixed with pieces of bacon. Not complaining, since I love both. They added a nice crunch that was the perfect contast to the soft noodles. It was super easy to make and we all enjoyed it (although Hubby mentioned that the soup, were it thickened, would make an awesome cheese dip, LOL).
Mac & Cheese Soup with Bacon Croutons
1/4 C butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C all purpose flour
4 C chicken stock
2 C milk
1 C whipping (35%) cream
8 oz elbow macaroni (about 2 C)
4 C shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese, tossed with 1 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp cayenne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bacon Croutons (recipe follows)
In a large, heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and red pepepr; saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and saute for 2 mintues.
Gradually whisk in stock, milk and cream; bring up to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until soup thickens slightly and flavors have blended about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
Add cheese to soup, 1/2 C at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until cheese is melted and soup is smooth.Do not let boil. Season with cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.
Divide macaroni among heated bowls and top with soup. Garnish with croutons.
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 C cubed sour dough bread
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place bacon on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Add bread cubes, oil and pepper; toss to coat envenly and spread in a single layer. Bake, stirring a few times, until bacon is crisp and bread cubes are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cook slightly on sheet on a wire rack and use warm.
This post linked to
Full Plate Thursday