My stick blender died today and I miss it already. Here she lies.
I registered concern when it started sounding a little sluggish a few weeks ago, but not enough to do anything. I paid the price this evening when I went to puree some lentil soup.
Live and learn.
I don’t need to go on about how useful a tool it is. All cooks know the score. Its most valuable use — one that would make it worth the purchase price even if it did nothing else — is to puree hot soups right in the pot. This saves a cook from having to dirty the upright blender or food processor, both difficult to clean, but it also saves one from having to perform the frightening task of pureeing a hot liquid in those powerful machines. Horror stories abound: ruined ceilings, scalded faces, blindings. The stick blender is probaby just as dangerous, but using it is not such a production. And you get the same perfectly smooth, lovely soup.
Just not tonight. The lentil soup was pretty good anyway. Still, I’ll be purchasing a replacement blender immediately.
Tomato & Lentil Soup
Everyone should have at least one good recipe for lentil soup. This one is easy and delicious. It’s also vegan although it need not be so. You can use chicken stock if you prefer or even throw in some sausage. I use red lentils here because they’re so cheery.
2 onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated finely
2 medium carrots, grated
2 tbs. olive oil
One 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of red lentils
6 cups of water
1/2 tsp. Marash pepper
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder (I like Penzey’s)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
Sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and carrots and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Add spices and stir for 1 minute. Throw in the chopped tomatoes, lentils, and water. Heat until soup reaches a simmer; lower heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Once the lentils are soft and melting, a well-supplied cook would puree the soup with a stick blender. The less fortunate should just smash the largest pieces of tomato with a fork. It’s depressing stuff, but there you are. Add salt, pepper, cilantro, and tabasco. Serve with crusty bread (preferably Seedy-Salt bread from Salt of the Earth in Fennville, MI.).