Ever add a bag of rice to a can of soup to make a quick meal? Then you’ve made Souper Rice. Growing up, my mom called it Soupy Rice but when I got to college my roommate called it Souper Rice, which sounds more like something a food-centric superhero would cook. Sorry, Mom, you lost on the name game.
I was craving comfort food and this sprang to mind. Of course I didn’t have any canned soup, so I decided to raid the fridge and see what was up. Sitting by its lonesome was this sorry-looking pint of button mushrooms that I kind of forgot about. Too far gone to be good in a salad, I cleaned them, chopped them and cooked them down to make a lovely gravy. I forget about gravy sometimes, outside of the holiday season. This is a very sad thought because gravy is delicious.
Mushroom gravy, makes about 2 cups
2 Tbs. unsalted butter + 1 Tbs. extra butter
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup water (or rice cooking liquid)
1/2 cup Half & Half/milk /heavy cream
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 pint button mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/4 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp. or 1 clove, grated or minced garlic (I use the pre-grated stuff from the tube, though if you have a Microplane rasp grater it’s super easy to do yourself. I have one…I’m just incredibly lazy.)
Salt and pepper to taste, though start small, say, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
1. In sauté pan or a skillet, melt 1 Tbs. butter. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic and cumin. Cook until browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes. (Note: photo below is about half way through the cooking process. You want a darker color on those mushrooms.)
2. In a separate pot, like a quart-sized soup pot, melt 2 Tbs. butter. Add the AP flour and whisk together to form a roux. Allow to cook until raw flour flavor disappears, 7-10 minutes. You can cook the roux longer if you prefer a deeper, nuttier flavor. The browner the roux, the more complex flavor. I tend to stick to a lighter colored roux just because I’m impatient and here most of the flavor is coming from the mushroom mixture.
3. When roux is done, whisk in the water and watch it thicken. Add the Half & Half, salt and pepper, and the mushroom mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
4. From here you can do what you want. I added a bag of cooked rice because I had it made. You could also put this over steak, potatoes, vegetables, an old flip flop, whatever–it’s going to be good.