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Healthy Soup Recipe: 220 Calorie Mac N Cheese Soup

So I made this resolution to not be so hard on myself.

This is a resolution I made, not for myself as much as for my daughter. And how I model womanhood to her.

I want to show her how to focus more on her successes than her failures.

Hold her strengths closer than she holds her weaknesses.

Our children only learn so much from our words, but our actions, especially those that we think they don’t see, are ingrained in who they are.

I’ve stopped using self deprecating statements, as my vow not to model for her what I so badly want to protect her from.

As I see her tiny body grow more and more into a mirror of my own, I now realize that all the things I say about myself, I am inadvertently saying about this tiny "Me" Β who is now running around trying to mimic what I do.

It’s cute when she says, "Bacon, Yum!"

Would it be as cute if she looks in the mirror and says, "I’m too fat to wear this"?

I don’t get to pick and choose what she picks up from me. I can just be more aware of my own attitudes and try to shape them into what I want her to pick up. And hope that I do my best to eliminate the mentalities that cause me to say hateful things about myself.

I want to teach her to look back on her mistakes with a postivive filter.

Not to say:

"What was I thinking?"

But instead to try and figure out:

"What was I learning?"

How the heck does this relate to Mac N Cheese soup? Well, most of you have resolutions about weight. Some of you probably even need to lose weight for health reasons. But if you have a daughter, or even a sensitive son, please don’t say:

"I don’t want to be so fat anymore."


"I want to be healthier. Run faster, jump higher."

Because, the truth is, unlike a lot of regrets we have in life:

Your weight is fixable.

That is great news, because so many things we have done aren’t. Make a plan, stick to it. Focus on your success, not your failure and give yourself time to make it happen. Because,if you have kids, our resolutions aren’t that different. They are for our kids, modeling how to live. Eat how you want them to eat and they will follow suit.

Mac N Cheese soup is great way to do this. It’s familiar, with just a bit of the high calories stuff. I’m focusing on the strengths of the food to bring it into a high flavor, low calorie food.

I used the Recipe Calorie Calculator on Spark people to find out how many calories are in this. It’s a great tool for homemade food. You can even adjust the ingredients to see how you can get the same amount of food for less calories.

The idea came from The Daily Unadventures in Cooking, and her Macaroni and Cheese dish. Check out her blog if you get a chance.

Healthy Soup Recipe: 220 Calorie Mac N Cheese Soup


  • 2 tbs Smart Balance Light (or other low cal margarine spread)
  • 1/3 cup red onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 6 cups of low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 3 cups of butternut squash, fresh, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup Macaroni noodles
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes

Makes 4 servings.


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, melt the Smart Balance Light. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, but not browned. Add the garlic and stir until you can smell them cooking, about 20 seconds. Add the flour and whisk until combined with the butter spread and no flour lumps remain. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the cubes of butternut squash, place the lid on at an angle allowing the steam to vent, boiling until the squash is very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Using an immersion blender, puree the squash until smooth and creamy. Return to heat. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the spices, adjusting to your preference. Add to bowls and top with chopped tomatoes.

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Kelly January 9, 2012 um 11:52 am

Ok one your daughter is absolutely precious!! And TWO, this is the most brilliant soup ever, I love this! Fabulous recipe! πŸ™‚


Tina@flourtrader January 9, 2012 um 12:10 pm

Your daughter is adorable. Being cautious of what you say as well as what your child hears is a hard rule to carry 24-7 and I am glad that you took a moment to write about the direct affects a comment from a parent can make on a child’s outlook.
This soup recipe looks delicious and coming in at a tiny 220 calories is a bonus. Great post.


Deb Ladet January 9, 2012 um 1:43 pm

Love the seniment and the soup


Cassie January 9, 2012 um 2:05 pm

Mac and cheese soup? This is a great idea. And I love that it’s only 220 calories!


Kim Bee January 9, 2012 um 2:35 pm

Okay Jackie this post just makes me want to reach through the screen and hug you. I love your outlook. You are an amazing woman and mom. Your daughter is lucky to have you to model herself after.

The soup is something my guys would go bonkers for. I am oddly not a mac n cheese fan. About once a year I get a hankering for it though. At 220 calories this is a great choice. I am off to check out that calorie calculator.


Jackie January 9, 2012 um 4:42 pm

Ahhh, thank you Kim! I always wanna hug you after I read on of your posts πŸ™‚


Kato Degrace January 9, 2012 um 2:54 pm

Hey this is a great ! Thanks!


jules January 9, 2012 um 3:03 pm

What a lovely recipe – great inspirational post. The combination of chilli, butternut squash and some soft macaroni sounds great.


Tiffany January 9, 2012 um 4:49 pm

Guiltfree mac and cheese soup. Oh, heck yeah!


Russell at Chasing Delicious January 9, 2012 um 6:44 pm

Lovely post. And lovely shots of this soup. I love the idea and recipe! Yum.


Lindsey@Lindselicious January 9, 2012 um 9:22 pm

I love this post and how you are changing the way you frame things for your daughter! Yay! And this soup sounds so good. Bookmarking!!


Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions January 9, 2012 um 10:35 pm

I love, LOVE that picture of you two ladies ~ absolutely beautiful!! And I think that your goal to change how you portray yourself to your daughter is absolutely spot on. Kids most definitely learn how they handle situations from those influential grown-ups in their life, and your daughter ~ and you ~ will be happier for these changes! Thanks for the reminder that we get to choose how we shape our thoughts.


Jackie January 10, 2012 um 4:01 pm

Thank you Katie! SO sweet of you to say πŸ™‚


Ezra Gotara January 10, 2012 um 8:04 am

Soup seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it.


Katerina January 10, 2012 um 11:27 am

So glad you enjoy my blog. Great sentiments and great recipe!


Jackie January 10, 2012 um 11:30 am

Thank you! I loved your Mac N Cheese πŸ™‚


Julie at Burnt Carrots January 10, 2012 um 5:54 pm

I’m seriously drooling!! This looks amazing. This with a beer is going to be my first post paleo meal!!


Jackie January 11, 2012 um 8:40 am

It does go very well with beer πŸ™‚


Mellie Otsman January 12, 2012 um 5:29 am

Hello there, I actually really want to try this! Looks good and healthy.


Beth Michelle January 13, 2012 um 4:47 am

This soup looks so delicious. Ive bookmarked it. A must try!


Colleen Bierstine January 13, 2012 um 11:12 am

This sounds DELICIOUS and I love that it’s light! You have a great attitude towards your daughter and you’re thinking the right way to improve your own well-being.


Baltic Maid January 16, 2012 um 10:32 am

Your daughter is adorable, your resolution awesome and the soup delicious!!!


Baking Serendipity January 16, 2012 um 7:02 pm

This sounds fantastic! I love mac and cheese (seriously…love) but have never seen it in soup form before. Definitely something to try! PS: You have a fantastic attitude and it’s totally admirable that you are concerned about passing it on to your daughter.


Jackie January 17, 2012 um 10:00 am

Thank you, so sweet of you to say πŸ™‚


claire @ the realistic nutritionist January 17, 2012 um 12:30 pm

220 calories??? YES. I’m so on board with this. Love the picture!


Savannah@HammockTracks February 14, 2012 um 9:11 am

What a great recipe. I’ve pinned it and I am adding it to my soup recipe links. Thanks for posting.


carla February 26, 2012 um 12:19 pm

going to enjoy a few more minutes of quiet before i set off and make this! today is a sunny but chilly sunday, perfect for comfort food πŸ™‚ and what a perfect blend of comfort food – mac n cheese & soup!!!

thanks for the awesome recipe πŸ™‚


carla February 26, 2012 um 3:36 pm

it was DELICIOUS!!!! going to add califlowr or broccoli next time. thanks for sharing this!!!


Jackie February 27, 2012 um 11:23 am



Swallow Bird Nest October 27, 2012 um 6:33 am

WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for healthy chinese dish


Linda April 5, 2013 um 9:46 pm

This is a wonderful recipe! Just looking it over, I’m sure it can be used in a diabetic diet, and my husband and I are both diabetic. We’re gonna love it! I’m a member of The Recipe for Success Club, and we have lots of FREE recipes and cookbooks for you and your readers to enjoy. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m a fan, and I’ll be checking out your other recipes. I like the Recipe Calorie Calculator, so I’ll be checking that out, too. It’ll be a big help!


Angie January 2, 2014 um 1:19 pm

I made this soup today for lunch. WOW DELICIOUS! I mean really, I was tremendously impressed! I don’t have an immersion blender so I went after the tender squash with a potato masher and then poured everything into a regular blender, hit "liqueify", poured the puree back into my dutch oven and continued on with the instructions. Velvety smooth and wonderful! It’s -4 degrees F on my farm today and this was exactly what my fiance and I needed to warm up after feeding the cows and horses. Thank you!


Jackie January 2, 2014 um 1:38 pm

Glad you liked it!


sarah brubaker March 6, 2014 um 5:10 am

For the mac&cheese soup could u make it in a crock pot, perhaps.


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