Ranch dressing mix isn't just for whipping up a tangy and tasty salad topping; this packet of potent flavoring can be used as seasoning for a number of different dishes, from sprinkling atop popcorn to punching up breading for baked ranch chicken. One of the best applications for ranch, though, is mixed into deliciously starchy potatoes. Potatoes serve as a great vessel for ranch's tangy, herby flavors, taking on its delectably aromatic taste and providing a layer of creamy or golden-fried indulgence all its own.
For a unique twist on the potato-ranch pairing, try adding a packet of powdered ranch dressing mix to your next pot of homemade potato soup. It's an easy and inexpensive yet very effective way of bringing a huge amount of extra flavor to a soup. The packet of dressing mix dissolves in the soup's moisture, imparting full flavor and a smooth texture to the dish as it simmers on the stovetop. You won't be able to get enough.
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What's In Ranch Dressing That Goes So Well With Potatoes?
When you look at the contents of ranch dressing, it's no wonder why the flavors pair up so beautifully with spud-forward dishes like potato soup. Ranch dressing contains a medley of herbs and spices that traditionally go well with potatoes. Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and parsley are all common ingredients in both bottled and powdered ranch dressing; some recipes also include chives and lemon or vinegar, which also pair well with potatoes. Certain brands add MSG to their mixes, which imparts a deeply savory flavor to the powder that only increases the umami levels in anything you add it to — soup included.
Powdered ranch dressing can also contain a number of ingredients that serve as thickeners, contributing to a richer and velvetier soup texture. Most powdered mixes are meant to be whisked together with milk or another dairy product in order to create a dressing or a dip. Classic ranch mix typically contains powdered buttermilk, which is exactly what it says: Buttermilk that's been dehydrated into a powder. When reconstituted, for example, in a soup, the buttermilk absorbs moisture and adds both texture and tang to whatever dish it's been added to.
Ingredients For Ranch Potato Soup Success
Though simply mixing ranch dressing powder into potato soup can already be a winning combination, there are a few additions that can enhance this culinary match even further. Bacon is a popular accompaniment to ranch dressing, so much so that Hidden Valley actually sells a bacon-infused ranch dressing; bacon is also a common potato soup addition, providing a smoky-salty flavor and a bit of crunchy bite to an otherwise smooth and creamy meal. Putting a little bacon in your soup alongside the ranch will harmonize well; the flavorful meat can stand up against the strong ranch taste.
Cheese, especially cheddar, is also a great addition to the pot. Cheddar cheese adds a rich, melty layer atop a hot bowl of soup and is already a winning partner for each of the other ingredients. For a truly decadent and flavor-blasted soup experience, sprinkling a little cheddar on top provides that sharp, cheesy taste, rounding out a rich yet delicious, ranch-forward potato soup you'll want to make again and again.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.