Is spending over $500 on a blender crazy? Probably. But, is spending $22 on that blender crazy? Not at all! After asking for Williams-Sonoma gift cards for every birthday, Christmas, and special occasion (plus hoarding credit card rewards points like nobody’s business) for the last several years, the Vitamix Professional Series 300 was finally mine – for just $22 out of pocket.
Known as blenders for professional chefs and serious home cooks, I had logged quite a bit of time with Vitamixes while I was in culinary school. Each time I used one, I marveled at how efficient it was, and how it could blend anything. I’m convinced you could throw some granite chunks and blueberries in this thing, and you would be drinking a granite-berry smoothie a moment later. Yum?
Since the moment it arrived (seriously, I blended something within 2 minutes of unboxing it), I’ve been blending up a storm. Mostly green smoothies, but sauces, soups, and margaritas, too.
This week will be all about the variety of things I’ve made in my beloved new kitchen appliance. The thing that I was most eager to do was make hot soup. Cold ingredients heated only by the heat of the motor. What!?!? I’ll admit, when I saw this in the product description, I was incredibly skeptical. Sure, it might make warm soup, but there was just no way it would makehot soup, right? Wrong! After whirling around for 5 minutes, it makes HOT SOUP. So hot, you’re likely to burn your skeptical, no-way-will-this-be-hot tongue.
Pureed squash soup is one of my favorite foods. I generally use butternut squash, but I branched out this time and picked up a few sweet dumpling squashes. Pureed with some roasted garlic and onion, sprinkled with a sampling of my spice drawer essentials, and topped with perfect, crispy oven bacon, this dumpling squash soup is the ideal dinner to slowly ease you into the understanding that yes, fall is here.
2 large dumpling squashes (about 5-1/2 pounds total)
1/2 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves (in their skins)
Salt & Pepper
4 fresh sage leaves
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 cup water, plus additional if needed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup half-and-half
8 slices hardwood smoked bacon, cooked until crisp, then crumbled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut squashes in half and scoop out seeds. Place squashes on one rimmed baking pan, and onion and garlic on another rimmed baking pan. Drizzle everything with some olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven. Roast oven and garlic about 30 minutes or until onion is golden brown; remove garlic from skins. Roast squash 60 minutes or until very tender. Let squash cool 10 minutes.
Scoop squash flesh into Vitamix. Add sage, broth, water, cumin, paprika, turmeric and roasted onion and garlic. Select Variable 1. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10. Blend until smooth. Add half-and-half; blend until well combined, then salt to taste. If a thinner consistency is desired, add additional water in 1/4 cup increments until you’re satisfied. Blend on Variable 10 for 4 to 5 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from vented lid.
Serve soup garnished with bacon.
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