News flash: Souping is the new juicing! (No, not that kind of souping; we’ll stick with the healthier, more sustainable option.) Up until a few years ago, the only way you could get your hands on a high-powered blender was if you owned a smoothie shop or shelled out the equivalent to a month’s worth of rent—but now, it seems like every kitchen appliance company is jumping on the high-horsepower bandwagon. For little more than what you’d pay for a standard blender, you can get your hands on a mighty healthy eating machine.
Any old blender can make you a smoothie (or, ahem, margarita), but it takes a really powerful one to make almond milk or nut butter without burning out a motor. With the popularity of these super-powered blenders also comes the newest trend in healthy eating—blender soups. Now, I know what you are thinking—it’s nothing new to use a blender to puree bisques and other creamy soups. True, but what is different is that these high-powered blenders can actually heat your soup while it blends. No stove. No oven. No microwave. Just you, some veggies, a blender, and a piping hot bowl of healthy soup.
The key to this whole magic: friction. By blending the soup for a longer-than-normal period of time (about five minutes) the friction of all that swirling and shaking heats up the soup—and not just lukewarm heats up—we’re talking warm-you-up-on-a-cold-November-day kind of soup. If you want to try this method, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t try this with a standard blender. You need a blender with at least 1000 watts of power—and more preferably, upwards of 1500 or more. Some options out there are Ninja, Vita-Mix, and Blendtec. The recipe below is made using a Ninja Ultima professional blender, which runs about $150 brand new.
- If you do only have a standard or immersion blender, you can blend to puree, and then heat up the soup on the stove or in the microwave as you usually would.
- Since you aren’t actually cooking food (just heating it) you need to reduce the amount of aromatics (like garlic, onions, etc.) you use in your soup. Trust me, you don’t want to drop four cloves of raw garlic into a blender soup.
- Same goes with raw meat—no cooking is being done here, so skip adding raw or undercooked meat.
- The time you need to run your blender to get it hot will vary based on the power of your blender and the soup. In general if you run most high powered blenders on their highest setting for 5-7 minutes, you should get a very hot batch of soup.
- Because the soup does get hot and steamy, make sure to vent your blender while it works. I’ve found the best way to do that is to open the pour spout, and then cover it with a kitchen towel to prevent splatters.
You can do just about any kind of bisque or creamy soup using this method, but this Spicy Pumpkin Coconut Blender Soup is a great place to start. It’s vegan and uses ingredients that can be easily found at your regular grocery store. It’s light, healthy, and of course, super delicious. Enjoy! Happy blending!
Spicy Pumpkin Coconut Blender Soup
Makes 2 servings
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk (not the stuff from the milk cases; check the baking aisle or international foods)
- 1/4 of a small onion
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: chives & dash of sour cream or crème fraîche for topping.
- Combine all ingredients in the carafe of a high-powered blender. Blend on the highest setting until smooth and creamy (you may need to scrape down the sides). Vent the blender lid, then continue to blend on high for 5-7 minutes until hot and steamy.
- Optional: Sprinkle soup with chives and a touch of coconut milk, sour cream or crème fraîche.
Nutrition Per Serving
348 calories, 29.2g fat, 23.6g carbs, 5.1g protein