Monday, December 01, 2008

Broccoli, Ham, Mac and Cheese Soup

For those who commented about text-size, does this center section read better for you? Let us know!

I have quite a bit of cooked turkey in the freezer now as we've had our fill over the last few days. I am sure I have enough for a few recipes, so we'll try and get to them over the next couple of weeks!

So, instead of something turkey related, I made this
Broccoli, Ham, Mac and Cheese Soup for our dinner tonight.

For the pasta in the soup, we used medium shells - when they were a minute or two from being ready, I dropped in a few chopped broccoli florets to quickly cook so we'd have one less dish to clean. As that was happening, the base of the cheesy soup started by melting a couple pats of butter. When the butter began to sizzle, an equal amount of flour was sprinkled over the top along with a spoonful of tangy Dijon mustard.

After a minute of chasing the mixture around the saucepan to cook out the flour, we poured in the liquids. I used a combination of chicken broth, half-and-half for richness and a bit of milk. If you have enough half-and-half, feel free to use it for the milk too, but I just used what we had leftover from the Thanksgiving meal. So the flour can do its duty, the liquids were brought to a boil, then the heat was reduce to keep it warm. We then gradually stirred in generous amounts of sharp white cheddar cheese - be sure to do this in stages so the cheese can melt properly. Diced ham is then added, along with the cooked shells and broccoli to bring them back up to temperature.

With just a few shakes of salt and fresh ground specs of black pepper, this swift soup was good to go! While we both liked the sharpness in the cheese, you could use a more mild cheese if you needed to dial that down. Kind of like a "soupy" mac 'n cheese, for lack of a better word, Jeff mentioned he would like this again and maybe use cauliflower to change it up! I also quite liked how using the broth lightened it up, while the duo of half-and-half with milk lent enough richness and mouth-feel to keep us happy.


  1. Yes, it reads better now! Thank you very much! Guess I'm an old curmudgeon. While the new banner is great, I liked the other text format better. Making the center section so much narrower seems to take away its importance as the real heart of the blog - but then, what do I know!!

  2. Much better print size - thank you! Love your site!

  3. Like the new look! I think there will be requests for this soup recipe at the office today....

  4. You might try Fat-free Evaporated Milk - it's a great, healty substitute for half & half. It has a rich mouth-feel & has many uses. I learned about it from Weight Watchers.

  5. Yes it is super! TFS.Gina

  6. Njs - Before, the center section was "fluid"... meaning it would automatically adjust to your screen size. However, this caused a variety of problems and limited my photo size. Having a set size to the blog eliminates a lot of problems.

    Kalyn - Fantastic, thanks for the feedback!

    Teri - Great!

    Quinn - Thanks!

    Anon - good suggestions. We are not too worried about including a bit of fat in our diet though!

    Gina - Thanks!

  7. mmm..I am going to make this tonight! It looks delicious and a great was to use leftover ham from Thanksgiving!

  8. Liesl - Let us know how it goes!

    Jeph - It was!

  9. I'm making this for dinner tonight
    and it looks delicious and easy for a busy evening.
    I also can't wait to make cookies from your site for a meeting with my co-workers next week.

  10. Jennifer - Enjoy the soup!

  11. Joe, you were my saviour last night with this! Our plans to attend a charity event were cancelled last minute due to some issues with our teenage son (aarrrgghh), and I had no dinner plan. Luckily, I did have everything for this, and it came together in short order. Surprisingly for me, I made zero changes. Best of all, it was FANTASTIC. Total comfort food, which is exactly what we needed to ease our stress level. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  12. CM - I'm glad to hear you liked this soup!