Negotiating with the Vita-Mix (Easy Pumpkin Spice Soup)
Long time readers of this blog may remember my love-hate relationship with my husband’s Vita-Mix blender. I have been growing fonder of it as time goes by, making more and better veggie smoothies (tossing clean but unpeeled carrots into it with some orange juice and a little fresh ginger makes the most amazing smoothie imaginable) and using it for generally more than ordinary blender duty, but it still seems like this huge lunky thing. Kitchen appliance meets Manly Power Tool.
But then the other day I was at Whole Foods when the Vita-Mix demo lady was there hawking the things, and I for the first time got to witness the whole “it makes soup” phenomenon. And it really did sort of blow me away. She had samples of this Chicken Tortilla Soup, where you toss all this stuff into the blender and blend the heck out of it for 6 minutes till it gets hot–steaming hot, in the blender–and then you toss a few more ingredients and just sort of incorporate it on low, and then it’s ready to eat. (The official Vita-Mix version of the recipe is here, but I think she kind of had her own.) It was too salty, but otherwise it was delicious.
So today I went to the site and found a recipe for pumpkin soup. I happen to still have half a can of pumpkin left over from Christmas breakfast, so I thought, hey, what the heck? Let’s give this a shot…
Then, of course, I promptly dissed the recipe and did all kinds of stuff to it myself. This is what I did:
Vita-Mix Easy Pumpkin Spice Soup (makes about 3 cups…I think…)
Toss into the Vita-Mix container:
- 1 can pumpkin or 1.5 cups pureed pumpkin (or probably any winter squash)
- 1 cup broth
- a sprinkle each nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne
- 1/2-1 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup (optional, but the first time I left this out and it really make a difference with just a hint of sweetener…a little apple juice in place of some of the broth would probably work too)
- 1/2-1 clove garlic (I used maybe 1/2 tsp “jarlic,” crushed garlic in a jar) (no, that’s not its official name, it’s what we call it around here, but some marketer should pick up on it, don’t you think?)
- 1/2-1 tsp crushed fresh ginger (again, I use the jarred stuff, because it is so much easier…a sprinkle of dry would probably be fine, and real fresh would be even better)
Pulse first on low variable speed, then increase to high variable, then turn to Real Heavy Duty VitaMix High. Blend 5-7 minutes until you see steam coming out of the vents in the top. Pour into mugs or bowls and serve with a dollop of plain greek or regular yogurt on top. (Also optional, but also makes a big difference!)
The Verdict: Really really good. This would be a delicious soup to make and serve for company even if it involved a couple of pans and some actual kitchen time, and it took all of 5 minutes. I think I may have to get to know this overachieving blender a little better. If it can do this, it may be worth its clunkiness and counter space after all.
More research provides links to more soups– there’s this recipe for creamy tomato basil soup, which looks awesome, as does this one…and this site, with an absolute motherlode of Vita-Mix-able soup recipes. (And if you’re not the proud or slightly embarrassed owner of one of these ridiculous $500 blenders–I know, really??–I’m certain you could make something very like these over the stove with an ordinary or immersion blender.)
I still don’t care for its “ooh I’m so fabulous” attitude, and I have to wonder what the markup is on that $500 price tag (like maybe paying all those demo people in Whole Foods? Do they realize that if they priced it at something lower, like $200, it would fly off the shelves?), but this contraption might be part of the key to the weight I really genuinely plan to lose this winter…