Skinny Mac and Cheese Main Course Soup

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mac-and-cheese-soup

This main course soup is sensational. A Must Try!!! All the fantastic flavors of the cheesiest macaroni and cheese in this hearty bowl of soup. And the crowning glory, topped with lean crumbled bacon and cheese. Each bowl has 312 calories, 8 grams of fat and 9 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. Serve with a side salad and you are all set for dinner!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients

2 cups (8 oz) dry whole grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni noodles or penne pasta

5 slices bacon, see shopping tips

1 cup fat-free milk

1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans or 1(32 oz) carton reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 (10 ¾ ounce) can Campbells Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese soup, see shopping tips

cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance light

1 teaspoon smoked paprika, see shopping tips

½ teaspoon garlic powder

A little black pepper, to taste


Ingredients for Toppings:

cup plus 1 tablespoon reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup scallions, chopped

Cooked and crumbled bacon from above


Instructions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions but cook al dente (not over cooked).

2. In the meantime, cook bacon in microwave on paper towels. Be sure to cover the bottom and top of bacon with paper towels. Cook about 2-3 minutes, until crispy. Blot well with paper towels. Crumble and set aside for topping soup.

3. Next, place milk and ricotta cheese in a blender and pulse until smooth.

4. In a large pot, add chicken broth, undlited cheese soup, milk/ricotta cheese sauce, cup shredded cheddar cheese, butter, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and a little pepper. Stir often, over medium heat, until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Stir in cooked macaroni pasta.

5. To serve: ladle 1¼ cups soup into each bowl. Top with 1 tablespoon cheese and a little crumbled bacon and scallions.

Makes 6 servings. Each main course serving (1¼ cups), including topped with bacon & cheese.


Shopping Tips

I recently discovered a fantastic bacon. It
s called Applegate Farms Natural Sunday Bacon. Its low in fat and calories, uncured and contains no nitrites! Once cooked on paper towels in the microwave, its even lower in fat and calories! Many supermarkets carry this brand. I bought it at Vons/Safeway and Whole Foods. Heres the link to their website: http://www.applegate.com/products/natural-sunday-bacon

Another lean regular bacon is Oscar Meyer Center Cut Bacon. Its much lower in fat and calories, 3 slices contain 70 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. Once cooked on paper towels, most of the fat soaks into the paper, not in the bacon, so the fat is further cut down. In my Skinny Facts, I subtracted out the fat thats left on the paper towels!

I love the flavor of smoked paprika so much more than regular paprika! It smells like BBQ flavors and really enhances the flavor of any recipe that uses paprika. I strongly recommend using it in this recipe. Youll find it in most supermarkets in the spice aisle. I bought mine at Trader Joes.

There are several brands of whole wheat or whole grain small pasta that will work for this recipe. I used Barilla Whole Grain Elbow Pasta. It looks like a macaroni shell. You could also use a whole grain or whole wheat penne or rigatoni pasta, if desired.


Weight Watchers SmartPoints
9
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
8

Weight Watchers (old points) 6

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 bowl (1¼ cups), including toppings
312 calories, 8g fat, 3g sat. fat, 30mg chol, 20g prot, 40g carbs, 5g fiber, 860mg sod, 8g sugar