Tool: Immersion Blender
I suppose it’s not technically an essential tool, but it is one I use all the time: my immersion blender.
I put off buying one for years, though my friends mentioned using theirs regularly. After I bought one, I knew I would never be without one again.
How do I use my immersion blender?
Let me count the ways
- To puree some soups, like roasted root vegetable, butternut squash, and pea soup.
- To thicken up some other soups, like bean soups, I give it a few quick pulses so some – but not all – of the veggies and beans are pureed. This thickens up the texture of the soup without using rouxs or cornstarch.
- To make a milkshake.
- To make peeling fruit for sorbets, jams, or sauces unnecessary! After the fruit is simmering away, I just stick in the immersion blender and whir until it’s all smooth, peels and all.
- To make simple, quick tomato sauce with excess tomatoes: boil quartered tomatoes (no peeling!) with seasonings of choice, blending as it cooks until it’s the level of chunkiness you like.
- To make a fast fruity salad dressing: olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and a handful or two of berries, pureed in the measuring cup with the immersion blender.
- To quickly whip just a couple small servings of whipped cream, I add cream, sugar, and vanilla to a Pyrex measuring cup or a tall drinking glass and whip it with the whisk attachment.
- To make homemade hummus and similar bean dips.
- To make sure my gravy is lump-free.
- To make batches of homemade, single-ingredient baby food.
My immersion blender is one of the handiest tools in my kitchen, and I never would have guessed how much simpler it would make food prep before I owned it. Particularly when you are making a lot of your own ingredients – like jams, dressings, sauces, ice creams, and sorbets – the immersion blender means you can pull out a small tool, with one small and easy part to wash, instead of hauling out the blender and getting a whole other container dirty, with pourings back and forth.
So, if you see “with my immersion blender” on a lot of my recipe posts, don’t be surprised.