Mac and cheese soup, you say? Yes, and it's yummy good on a cold day. I was looking for my pizza soup recipe so I can make it tomorrow and found this one instead. The girls and I love it, Bob not so much as he doesn't really like cream based soups so I usually make it when he's not home for dinner. We found this in an NFL cookbook at the library (of course, my sports loving daughter had to check it out!).
Mac and Cheese Soup
10 slices thick-cut bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 c flour
14-oz. vegetable broth
3 c whole milk
1 Tbsp chili powder
1tsp black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
4 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c dried elbow macaroni, cooked
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Cut the bacon strips into quarters. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove it to paper towels to drain. Add a little oil to the pan if needed, then add the onion. Cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the onion is soft and lightly browned, about another 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Ad the milk, chili powder, pepper, and mustard. Return the soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the cheese and continue cooking and stirring until well blended, about 4 minutes. Add the macaroni and bacon and return to a simmer. Remove from the heat and serve, sprinkling with parsley.
You could also leave out the bacon, chop it a bit more and sprinkle it on top of each bowl.
Edited 12/15/12: After making this a few times, we usually leave the bacon out of the soup and sprinkle it on top. If you add it in, it tends to get soft, especially if you don't eat all the soup at one time and have leftovers. We really enjoy having the crunch of the bacon as a garnish.