Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ode to an Immersion Blender

I know that technology is supposed to be America's strong suit (after, oh yes, civil liberties and democratic transparency). But there are some things that Europeans just make better. Simple things, like dustpans with broomstick-long handles and oversink cabinets with built in dish drainers.

And immersion blenders. So neat and trim, so practical: no need to transfer anything, no chance of spraying asparagus soup all over your kitchen just as your guests arrive because you filled the blender too high. The very embodiment of European values, in fact: no gaudy doo-dads, just enough power to get things done without being ostentatious about it. I know that, technically, immersion blenders are available in the US, but honestly, how many people there do you know who have them?

It was a happy day yesterday when I took advantage of the nation-wide rebajas to first finally buy one, and then to make a deliciously smooth and creamy carrot soup with it. Couldn't have been easier. Here's the recipe:

Carrot and Dill Soup (serves 4)

2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly
6 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tsp dried dill
5 cups chicken broth
Chopped fresh dill for garnish

Sauté onion and carrots in the butter with the dried dill until the onions are translucent. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer until carrots are soft, about 40 minutes. Use immersion blender (or if you must, a regular one) to puree until smooth. Serve topped with a good amount of chopped fresh dill.


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