I had big ambitions for the new year. I planned. I prepped. I got organized. I wrote things out, even blogging most of my goals for all the world to see.
But then real life happened. My life was busy with work, with travel and with lots of obligations. Then there was some bad news and several disappointments; and I got in a funk that I couldn’t shake. I just couldn’t get back my “new year” excitement and mood that I was feeling at the end of December and at the start of 2017. So my “funk” got worse and I just couldn’t shake it.
But then I was reminded at the end of last week that I am in charge of my happiness and that despite the unexpected, I am writing my life’s story and I can choose how I handle the bad news and disappointments in life. Sure, that doesn’t mean things aren’t hard and I am entitled to my feelings, which can mean sadness, disappointment or anger. And it also might mean a change of perspective and a change of plans, but I’d much rather refocus my energy in to trying to be positive and happy, than angry or sad.
After making some time for just myself this weekend, to read a book, watch my favorite TV shows, get outside, clear my mind and to re-focus, I feel better and feel like I can finally start the new year.
So I’m giving myself a do over and declaring February my ‘new year’. I’m already embracing life with a new out look and all that bad news and disappointment from the past few weeks? Well it hasn’t changed, but I am dealing with it better. Some of it can’t be changed but in the long run will be better and other things may mean a change of plans, and even if it wasn’t what I originally hoped, it will still be great!
One thing that helped me get through the past few weeks were a few comforting meals. To me, a comforting meal can come in a few different packages. It can be a “stick to your ribs” hearty meal like steak and mashed potatoes, or a dinner shared around a small dining room table while breaking bread with family and friends, or a meal that reminds me of my childhood.
Today’s recipe is just that. It is a hearty and stick to your ribs soup that tastes like everyone’s favorite childhood food, macaroni and cheese! Not only is this Macaroni and Cheese Soup recipe super comforting (seriously kids of all ages will LOVE it!!); kids will love to help make it and can grate cheese and chop veggies. Not only will this Macaroni and Cheese Soup warm you up on a cold winter day, it will take you right back to those simpler days when life’s disappointments meant going to bed early.
Here’s to s fresh start and a new month!
Kids and adults alike will love this hearty and comforting vegetarian Macaroni and Cheese Soup recipe that is packed with vegetables and sharp cheddar cheese.
- 1 cup dry elbow macaroni
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3-4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh black pepper, or to taste
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Bring a large soup pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.
Return soup pot to stove top and melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions, carrots and celery and sauté until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir to combine. Stirring constantly, slowly stir in 3 cups of vegetbale broth. Continue stirring until flour is completely mixed in. Slowly stir in milk, nutmeg, dry mustard powder, salt and black pepper.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese, stirring until all the cheese is melted and mixed in. Remove soup from heat and stir in cooked macaroni pasta. Serve immediately topped with additional cheddar cheese and green onions, if desired.
If soup thickens top much while simmering or after refrigerating leftovers, stir in additional broth as needed.
Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste