Soup Season

In my home, soup happens at least weekly this time of the year. And while you might think it would get old, we just keep enjoying bowl after bowl with new variations making their way to the table each week. But we also get a chance to float some of these lovelies in our bowls:

Of course, they are oyster crackers. But they aren't just any old oyster crackers. These have had a makeover involving dill and ranch dressing. Before you think that's just too much fuss for your soup bowl, consider that putting them together takes 5 minutes … and that's if you need to dig around a bit to get the ingredients together! It's literally as easy as tossing oyster crackers, seasonings, and oil together and throwing them in a paper bag to rest. A bit later, you pour them out of the bag into a tightly-sealed container and you've got delightfully-seasoned crackers around the next time you ladle out a bowl of piping hot soup or even get the munchies while watching your favorite movie on TV.

You can tweak the seasonings used in the mix, but my family really loves this combination and I find it blends incredibly well with the selection of winter soups that have been making their way through my kitchen and dining room this year. I may try my hand at options that involve powdered cheese blends or spicy chili mixes, but right now, this variation has not lost any of its luster with my clan or me.

A note for anyone with youngsters: this is a fantastic recipe to put together with the kids in your life. None of the ingredients is difficult to handle, and mixing it with your hands is actually best once everything is in the bowl. And, of course, most kids are pretty amused when you pour what you've just mixed into a paper bag, especially if you give it a little shake after you've done so. The hardest part will be waiting an hour or two before having any of them. That said, that's not a challenge for just the kids!

Dilly Ranch Crackers

  • 1 package powdered ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons dry dillweed
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags oyster crackers

Mix together the oil, dill, and ranch mix until well combined. Pour over the oyster crackers and toss with your hands until the crackers are equally covered. Pour the crackers into a paper grocery bag and allow to sit for an hour or two to allow some of the oil to drain out. Store in an airtight container.

  • Yields: About 6 cups seasoned crackers
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes plus resting time

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