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Give Mashed Potatoes An Umami Punch With Cream Of Mushroom Soup

A bowl of mashed potatoes
A bowl of mashed potatoes - DronG/Shutterstock

No matter the meal, there's always a spot on the table for mashed potatoes. Valued for its simplicity and reliability, this classic dish is something you can always count on to accompany all those hearty, flavor-packed main courses. Of course, when that familiarity becomes too repetitive, a small tweak always helps. One of the many ways you can make your regular mashed potatoes all the more exciting is, unexpectedly, cream of mushroom soup.

Mashed potatoes' creamy and buttery taste lays the perfect blank canvas for the soup's earthy, umami-rich essence to layer over. The notes perfectly tether between sweet and savory, comforting and rich without canceling each other out. Both are relatively familiar dishes, yet, when combined, they create multi-dimensional flavors that are highly intriguing.

Texture-wise, you can expect a whole lot of creaminess with this pairing. Since the soup is slightly thinner and more liquid than the mashed potatoes, it keeps the dish from becoming too dry and thick. What you get instead is a seamless blend of silky smoothness and rich, soft starchiness. Each spoonful feels like pure indulgence, with cascades of harmonious flavors and luscious textures all melded into one.

Read more: 23 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them

An Unexpected Combination That Comes In Many Forms

Top-down view of a bowl of mushroom soup and parsley
Top-down view of a bowl of mushroom soup and parsley - Christian-fischer/Getty Images

Bringing together mashed potatoes and cream of mushroom soup is no difficult task, especially when there are several different ways to do it. Much like gravy, the soup can be laid over the mashed potatoes for an ultra-creamy, flavorful dish. Alternatively, you can serve the dishes side by side and combine them as you're eating later on. Another way is to replace the milk while you're mashing the potatoes with the mushroom soup.

This will result in a more intense flavor infusion, although the portions would need to be carefully monitored so the texture isn't heavily affected. When baked together alongside sautéed beef and veggies, these two dishes also make an incredibly flavor-packed shepherd's pie as well. While traditional cream of mushroom soup works wonders in mashed potatoes, you can also experiment with different ingredients. Add robust spices like garlic powder or cayenne pepper for a stronger, spicier undertone that's sure to liven up your mashed potatoes.

If you prefer a more fragrant approach, play around with herbs such as rosemary and thyme. A dollop or two of sour cream brings a tangy edge that some may find really fascinating in an otherwise simple mashed potatoes dish. For those who love a chunkier texture, sauté some mushrooms on the side and layer them onto the potatoes with the soup. Don't underestimate the power of these small changes. They're the key to keeping the dish endlessly exciting.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.