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Gourmet "Souped-Up" Rice-a-Roni

I've been a fan of Rice-a-Roni since I was a kid. It was a staple in our household because it was a cheap food nearly everyone liked. With a husband and four kids to feed, my mom was not only the Cooking Queen, she was also the Queen of Frugality. Who knew her frugality would lead me to my destiny of becoming The Cheap Gourmet ;-).

Last week, our grocer was selling Rice-a-Roni as buy one, get one free. I love BOGO sales, don't you? Considering Rice-a-Roni is still one of my favorite "San Francisco treats", I stocked up. After all, this is probably one of the most versatile and easy-to-prepare dishes on the planet.

Today, Rice-a-Roni is owned by the Quaker Oats Company and offers 18 varieties. Although I haven't tried all of them (Yet!) my favorites include: Chicken, Beef, Red Beans and Rice, Rice Pilaf, Long Grain and Wild Rice, and Fried Rice.

Since I had purchased a total of 20 boxes of Rice-a-Roni, I decided to experiment a bit. I figured if my experiment failed, I would only be out a couple of bucks. But, I had a feeling my idea would work and I'm happy to report that it did!

I added one of my other favorite products, Campbell's French Onion Soup, to a box of Beef flavored Rice-a-Roni. The package called for 2-1/2 cups of water. I replaced the the water with one can of French Onion Soup and about 1 cup of water. It really "souped-up" the flavor and the onion chunks added a new layer of texture.

This dish is "souper" easy to prepare ;-). Did you like my pun, LOL! All that is required is one box of Beef flavored Rice-a-Roni, one can of Campbell's French Onion Soup and one cup of water. Food prep doesn't get much easier than that does it?

Follow the package directions for preparation of the Rice-a-Roni. Instead of using the full 2-1/2 cups water, replace with the French Onion Soup and one cup of water. Within 25 minutes, you will have a yummy side dish bursting with flavor.

Soup up Rice-a-Roni