The One Kitchen Tool That Makes Quick Work of Your Winter Soups and Holiday Potatoes
Why does it seem like simple always ends up being the best answer? Every year when the temperature finally dips into chilly territory, my father likes to make his "famous" tomato soup. We pair it with bacon grilled cheeses on the griddle and soak up every last cozy drop. And until the past two years, my father has complained about making the soup every single time, until our constant begging leaves him no choice. Why? Because he was doing it the hard way.
After cooking down all the delicious herbs and vegetables, he would then use our old food processor to purée small batches of his rather large batch of tomato soup until it was all smooth. Altogether, the process was long, messy, and not his favorite thing to do. So, the next time he was in the midst of making his family-loved specialty for dinner over the holidays, I said: "Why haven't you tried the immersion blender?" He had no answer.
For some reason, the thought hadn't crossed his mind, though he uses the immersion blender for his favorite cream cheese mashed potatoes. Here's a similar recipe. You really can't beat how smooth and fluffy they get. Really, using an immersion blender is the only way to make wonderfully creamy mashed potatoes. And before you ask, this man only cooks from his head, not a cookbook. Therefore, he wouldn't have seen any sort of instruction guiding him to use an immersion blender for soup. I know, crazy.
Right then and there, he pulled it out, and the soup was puréed and silky smooth in less than two minutes. He was quite literally dumb-founded at how the idea had never occurred to him. Needless to say, his once-a-year tomato soup has now become much more accessible for all of us, whenever we're in need of a comforting childhood meal and a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. Thank the heavens for that.
Not only does an immersion blender cut down so much time and mess when making puréed soups like our Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese and Coconut-Curry Butternut Squash Soup, but it also makes very quick work of holiday favorites like mashed potatoes. You can even use it when whisking eggs to make scrambled eggs for a big group or when whipping cream for a dessert (without having to take out your stand mixer). Basically, it can help cut down stress whenever you're hosting or are too busy to waste any minutes. Spend more time with your loved ones and less over the kitchen counter.
Simple really is sometimes the only way to go, even if you don't realize it. Just like my dad. If you don't have one already, stock up on an immersion blender below. (Your mashed potatoes will thank you.)