I work in the Toy Business, so basically October to December I am running around non-stop. Add into that Family Christmases, Birthdays (6 of them) and holiday parties. Either I’m at work, or I’m out running errands, buying gifts or baking. The last thing I want to do is spend an hour in the kitchen making meals on the weekend.
Enter Hidden Valley Ranch – last month they asked that I try out their new GLUTEN FREE dressings. First, who knew that Ranch dressings had gluten in them? Second, I love Ranch to dip Pizza, Veggies, Fries in, so I wanted to give it a shot. They very generously sent me 3 bottles – regular, 3 cheese and J’s new favourite – SPICY (that bottle didn’t last long).
Anyway, the challenge is to created a gluten free recipe using their ranch dressing. I’ve spent the better part of the month trying to come up with something unique, yummy, easy and BIG so that I could make multiple portions to eat over the week.
Today, I was sitting watching Ree Drummond make a potato soup for the freezer and it hit me…why not try a Potato & Leek Ranch Soup? Sounds kind of weird right? Never fear, I wouldn’t dare lead you astray. I combined a variety of ingredients (including LEEK which I’ve never used before) with the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing in the hopes of creating a hearty, savoury soup. Guess what? This soup is SO GOOD!! Warm, comforting, easy & loaded with veggies! Plus it makes enough for about 6-8 portions, so I can freeze a bunch for later this week!
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 large red skin potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
2 leeks, white parts only halved & sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled, halved & thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 cups half & half
3/4 cup Hidden Valley Ranch
3 tbsp Franks Red Hot (optional)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Shredded Old Cheddar
In a large stock pot, add the cauliflower, potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then let simmer on low heat until cauliflower and potatoes are soft.
While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking, chop and peel your leeks, onion and carrots. Melt butter in a saucepan and add veggies. Cook on low until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Once the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked, mash them together with a potato masher. You still want there to be a little “chunk” left, so don’t puree them. Once all mashed together, add in the veggies, cream, ranch, salt & pepper and Franks. Stir together and add back to heat. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. When soup has thickened (slightly) remove from heat.
Shred some old cheddar on top if you want an added kick and serve!
Again, I know this sounds weird (Ranch Dressing in Soup?) but I promise you, it’s absolutely scrumptious!
If you love Ranch (like J and I do) I highly suggest you check out the Hidden Valley Ranch Facebook Page – TONS of awesome recipes to try!
*Disclosure – I was compensated to write this post, but all opinions are my own. Also, this recipe is actually REALLY good. It sounds weird, but the soup is amazing!*