No lumps or seeds...what methods do you like?

There are lots of things that someone decided ought to be free of lumps, seeds, etc. Certain sauces, soups, mashed potatoes, etc. Some cooks have a love of power tools and use things like VitaMix, food processor, blender, or immersion blender to reduce things to, as close as possible, a smooth and featureless texture. Others resort to strainer, Chinois, tamis, or the like. And then there are those who embrace the lumps, the ones who make cream of tomato soup that has tomato seeds at some the bottom. Of course others use all or some of the preceding approaches. Which are you? Why do you like your choice(s)?

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For seeds/nuts, i usually vitamix it… but usually prefer some texture. Even with smoothies, I actually prefer “shaggies”, where ice and other ingredients have a little crunch to them. Mashed potatoes… prefer the lumps as the blender/FP makes it come out like glue.

Some things I like smooth (like tahini), but with most things (hummus, guac, salsas, and most sauces) I prefer a little texture.

One of the things I like about the vitamix is that while they run faster than most blenders, they also run slower.

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I love that vitmax has become a verb
:laughing:

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Need ha ha emoji.

Thanks for your suggestion.

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It depends. If I make split pea soup (yellow, I don’t want to recreate The Exorcist), I want smooth and creamy, but with a few resilient peas and bits of carrots surviving. I guess i want it all …

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I also like a little of both. If I ever have to eat pasty, smooth potatoes again, well, I won’t do it! A relative made the potatoes for Christmas three years ago, and think wallpaper paste and that’s what it was. It was so bad! I grew up in the upper Midwest and smooth (not pasty) potatoes were the thing, but in the south, where I live now, the lumps and bumps are more appreciated. I suspect the lumps and bumps have probably migrated north in the 30 years I’ve been gone. I like to think of it more as rustic than lumpy.

I do appreciate smooth soups and sauces, for the most part. There is something about that velvety texture that sings.

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I had to Google to find what it was. But, yes, I have a blender. It’s at the back of the cupboard so I can’t easily check what brand it is - but it will have been whatever was cheapest when we decided to buy one. Reason it’s it’s at the back of the cupboard as we generally use a stick blender nowadays - just easier to use and certainly easier to clean.

As for potato mashing, I use a potato masher

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I like a variety of textures in my dishes. So yes to lumpy / chunky mashed. As for soups, it really depends on the kind of soup I’m making. If it’s meant to be, say, a velvety cauli soup I would try to get it as smooth as possible… and then throw some toasted pumpkin seeds or some such on top for contrast.

When it comes to tomato sauce, that depends on the style I want. For a sauce that barely covers the pasta, smoothness is essential. Chunky tomato sauce with other chonky bits like bacon, onions, shrooms, etc. is a different story.

I wouldn’t like chunky yogurt. I prefer my hummus as smooth as silk. But I prefer mix-ins with my ice cream as I get bored by the flavor if there are no textural contrasts (like nuts, pastes, fruit, etc.).

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I make smashed garlic potatoes for Thanksgiving. Smooth mashed to me is like wallpaper paste. I do the smashed potatoes in a slow cooker; they don’t become glue, but they do darken after a while. Then they disappear. Evidently my guests don’t miss whipped starch lol. I recall Southern mashed potatoes served to me as a child, they certainly had bits of potatoes in them, and lots of black pepper!

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I am pretty lumpy biased, although for mashed potatoes I usually use a ricer. As you might have guessed from the OP, my cream of tomato soup ends up with a few seeds in the bowl. To me, it’s about flavor, and since much of the flavor of a tomato is from the jelly and it is full of seeds, that’s what happens. I do strain broths thoroughly, but using them in pretty much any soup will include lumps of the featured vegetables and proteins. I like my gazpacho smooth enough to drink from a glass, and a blender is the easiest way to get there. I do not like lumpy gravy, but a whisk takes care of that. So I guess I am a bit of both but more on the keep a few chunks end. My preferred weapons are the blender, the IB, and the Chinois.

Edited addition: It has been ages since I used tomato sauce. Crushing peeled San Marzanos in the palm of your hand is just too much fun and tastes so good.

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Well, we’re hitting mashed potatoes hard here. I like the more Latino style of smooth with no pastiness at all. Mashed potatoes in Mexico are killer.

Still, I love pureed soups that are smooth as silk, and I love an old school chicken noodle with full texture. Variety is good.

I do like my enchilada sauce to have a little bit of texture to it, so I’ll leave seeds in tomatoes and peppers when I blend it up.

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Plus that juice makes a hell of a bloody mary!

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I love Mexican mashed potatoes, too. There is a place here that makes a killer breakfast taco of Mexican mashed potatoes, refried black beans, and cotija. The salsa, which they call dona, is a puree of roasted jalapeños with a little salt, olive oil, and garlic. It looks creamy and refreshing, but it is actually quite hot, being basically pureed peppers. The mashed potatoes also have little flecks of green chiles in them.

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The quest for smooth hummus … I made it from scratch (well, since the grocery was out of “scratch” I used dried chickpeas) according to a recipe that called for removing the chickpeas’ skin after cooking. And here’s the proof! (Chickpea skins on the right, in case there’s any confusion :joy:)

The hummus was delicious and creamy and I will never, ever do this again. I’ll settle for grainy-but-delicious. Fiber is good for me!

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Potatoes are usually mashed fairly smooth just using regular beaters. Sometimes I’ll only peel about half way and leave rings of skin on for a more country version; in that case we leave them a little bit lumpy.

I make roasted tomato soup about once a month (family favorite) and generally leave the seeds in. I like the texture provided, as several others have mentioned. Plus, my blender is really old and doesn’t do much toward breaking down the seeds, nor does my stick blender. I think the tomato seeds are just too small, or too many, or both, to get broken down much.

The blender is pretty good at breaking down Indian gravies, though, even those with a half cinnamon stick and cardamom pods to be blended after cooking. I like the gravies to be as smooth as possible and definitely don’t like the sensation of biting down on a bit of star anise or cinnamon stick or cardamom pod.

I’ve made the tomato soup for others who either requested or needed it to be seedless or completely smooth (a convalescing friend on smooth liquids only). By then I knew my blender wouldn’t work for this, so I just roasted the tomatoes, let them cool, then strained the jelly to remove the seeds.

Sometimes when I make red sauces I cook the majority down smooth but then in the final hour I’ll add some more smashed & chopped San Marzano for a bit of texture. But mostly I make it fairly smooth.

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Same. Many years ago I did that one time. Excellent results. Never again.

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How do I live in Texas and yet have never had Mexican mashed potatoes? I will remedy that!

LOL… always use dried for falafel and hummus, never skin them. You don’t notice in falafel, but IMHO hummus needs that little graininess that the skins provide. Too smooth and it seems store bought. Also like minced veggies/aromatics/herbs in it that adds to the texture.

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A couple of recipes insisted that, for creaminess, the skins must be removed. I took the authors at their word. Foolish me. However, it did taste better than the best store bought I’ve ever had … but that wasn’t because of the lack of skins!

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