I bit the bullet and ordered a refurb Vita-Mix with the intention to put it through its paces in time to return it in 30 days if I'm not pleased with it (their policy). What interested me specifically is its purported ability to make hot soups. So this is kind of a Home Cooking question, too.
Does anyone have ideas or recipes that will give me the best shot at evaluating this kind of blender for soups? (I assume that brands like Blendtec would be in the same ballpark for this query.).
p.s.: Consumer Reports describes the blender's soups as lukewarm, but I don't fully trust CR for specialist equipment reviewing.
I haven't yet received the unit and whatever book is included. But I should clarify that I'm asking about points that might well lie beyond the manual or included cookbook.
For example, I make some Indian-style soups for which a crucial early step is browning onions--not all the way to caramelized but close. Onions do not brown even at boiling temperature, as they need to lose their water-content in order to go higher in temperature to brown. I strongly suspect that I will have to brown onions first in a skillet before the blending stage in order to do these specific soups.
There seems to be a good deal of acclaim for these blenders on grounds of simplicity: put everything in there and get it hot, with some late add-ins where some chunkiness is desired. But I want to give this tool its best shot at excelling absolutely, without giving primary credit to simplicity alone.
re: Bada Bing
Vitamix has a lot of soup recipes on their website:
The Tortilla Soup is what they use in the roadshows. This can be used as the base for other soups as well. Some recipes call for sauteing certain vegetables like onion and garlic. Their directions are very clear. I always saute my onion and garlic to reduce the pungency and bring out the flavor. You'll still need to cook the Indian spices to bring out their flavors as well because the Vitamix won't do that.
Vitamix can produce warm soups. Warm soups preserves more nutrition. So the Vitamix will never overheat your soups. If you want it hot, then you'll need to finish in on the stove. When I make soups I heat the stock over the stove then pour it into the container like that they do in the roadshows. I prefer to run the Vitamix for 1 minute with hot stock VS 5-6 minutes with cold water.