I waited patiently for two things to happen. A big crop of tomatoes from my garden, and a Vitamix. I needed a large crop all ripened at the same time so I could make something like creamy garden tomato soup.
But what is it about human nature that is never satisfied, only full of more wants? I received a Viatmix for my birthday and I was disappointed because it wasn’t an iPhone 5. I looked at the Vitamix like it was the wrong guy who asked me to the prom, and I thought the iPhone. There had been many hints that the iPhone 5 was on the way and would make a great birthday present. Any other time in my life, I might have jumped for joy at the sight of the Vitamix, but instead I looked at it, thinking this doesn’t have an A6 chip or panorama capabilities. How long will I be stuck with old iPhone, the same iPhone I was once so happy to get.
The twins are five years old and they are easily satisfied with a new toy for about five minutes. Their birthday is in the same month as mine and as soon as they opened the last toy, they started thinking about Christmas. It seems we are creatures hard to satisfy or fill up because there is always something new around the corner. I wrestle with this part of myself aiming for contentment wherever I’m at, aiming for a heart of gratitude in even the leanest times. It’s shameful to admit that I had lost my grateful heart that day.
Is this me putting technology before food? Is this me forgetting why I wanted a Vitamix in the first place? Did I forget that I could make healthy food fast, while staying true to my food philosophy. Did I forget about making hot soup from raw vegetables in seven minutes or that I could make the kind of creamy soup only chefs make and serve? Did I forget that this was a gift that would allow me to share delicious nutrition with my family?
As tired as I might become of things, I am never tired of healthy food or anything whole, green, red, or orange that comes up from the ground. I can eat broccoli, kale, spinach or anything from my garden at every meal. An iPhone can take pictures of food, but it can’t prepare food!
For a moment, I lost my culinary mind.
Five days later, I had my wish and tomatoes covered my window sill. These weren’t vine ripened. I had to pick them green and let them ripen due to chilly nights. But, along with the tomatoes, I picked bell pepper, chives, basil, and parsley. I have a bounty of flat Italian parsley this year, and of my herbs have performed well except for tarragon which somehow got lost between eggplant and squash.
I started out to make a tomato sauce and I kept going. I added carrots, celery, spinach and bell pepper. I threw it all into the Vitamix and the next thing you know I had dreamy, creamy, tomato soup that is not like any tomato soup you ever had. You can taste the carrots. You can taste the celery. You can taste the bell pepper. One bite takes you all around the garden. Mr. Spinach Tiger loved it. He hates tomato soup. He hates anything creamy. He loves flavor. This soup hit his soul.
I had to let him know how much I did appreciate the Vitamix. It will take us through many years of good food memories, healthy, life-giving food, the kind we need to eat often with joy and with gratitude.
Since I received my Vitamix, the following have become favorites.
Tell me, do you have a super duper blender and what is on your kitchen wish list?
- 10 medium tomatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped, leaves included
- 1 small bell pepper
- 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
- handful flat Italian parsley
- handful of basil
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (can substitute with coconut milk, rice milk, etc.)
- sea salt
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Core tomatoes and cut an x on each end. Drop into boiling water for 8-15 seconds, remove cool, peel.
- Chop tomatoes roughly.
- In soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add in onions, saute. until soft. Add smashed, minced garlic and cook for one minute. Add in tomatoes, juice and seeds. If you don't have a Vitamix, discard seeds.
- Add in chopped bell pepper, roughly chopped carrots, celery, half parsley, half basil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until tomatoes are reduced and carrots, celery are soft, 30-45 minutes.
- Add in spinach, rest parsley and basil (leaving some for garnish).
- Blend in Vitamix. Add in heavy cream. Blend again.
- Put back into a clean pan and heat until warm enough. Serve hot. Garnish with herbs. Season with more salt and pepper, as needed.
What’s a Vitamix?
In case you don’t know what a Vitamix is, it’s a high-tech super blender, often seen in store demonstrations, where the guy puts the whole apple, core, seeds and all into the mix to make some kind of healthy juice or smoothie. Unlike a juicer, there is no pulp left, as it pulverizes the food to complete liquid. During an in-store demonstration, the crowd will ooh and aah as Vitamix makes frozen desserts and even hot soup without turning on a stove. It’s expensive, but if you spend any time in the kitchen, it’s worth it and if you want to spend no time in the kitchen (making super nutrient drinks and smoothies), it’s still worth it. Best news for me is how efficient it works and how easy it is to clean, and safely blend hot foods. The bottom does not come out and there is no fussing with blades or worrying about improperly sealed bottom. It does what a normal blender can never do, and will make those magical creamy soups without having to fuss with seeding.
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