Most taco soup recipes, such as the one from Paula Deen of the Food Network, call for ranch dressing mix as a flavor enhancer. The ranch dressing gets mixed in with the other ingredients.
To make Paula Deen's taco soup recipe, dice enough onions to make 2 cups. Brown 2 pounds of beef with the onions, and then drain the fat. Transfer the meat and onions to a slow cooker.
Mix in 2 cans of pinto beans and 1 can of kidney beans. Add 1 can whole kernel corm, 1 can of Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can tomatoes with chiles. Stir in 1 package of taco seasoning and 1 package of creamy ranch dressing mix. Cook in the slow cooker for six to eight hours. Serve the soup over corn chips and topped with sour cream, shredded Colby jack cheese and chopped green onions.
Another version of this recipe calls for adding hominy and cooking the soup in a Dutch over. For this recipe, brown the beef with the onions in the Dutch oven, and then drain the fat. Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes with chile peppers, 1 can kidney beans and 1 can white hominy, draining all first. Mix in the taco seasoning and ranch dressing. Simmer for two hours, adding water if necessary.