If you've recently added an immersion blender to your collection of food equipment, you're probably excited to see what it can do. These nifty tools let you blend, whip and beat without having to transfer anything to a blender or mixer bowl. Just stick the immersion blender into the pot or bowl, and turn it on! Here are some suggestions for fun, delicious ways to use your new immersion blender.

Blended soups.

Turn your favorite vegetable soup into a creamy, blended soup. Or, simplify a cream soup recipe that asks you to transfer the hot mixture to a food processor. Once the vegetables in your soup are cooked and soft, you just insert the immersion blender into the pot and blend away. Make sure it's fully immersed in the liquid before you turn it on, and you don't have to worry about it splashing hot soup back at you. You can blend the soup completely for a very creamy experience, or leave some chunks if you prefer.

Whipped desserts.

Whipped toppings and mousses come out soft and fluffy when made with the immersion blender. You can make whipped cream by adding a few teaspoons of sugar to heavy cream and blending it with the immersion blender. To turn it into chocolate mousse, drizzle in melted chocolate as you're blending. You can add as much or as little chocolate as you like to create a delectable desert. Most any mousse or whipped topping recipe that calls for using a mixer can be made with an immersion blender.

Smoother salad dressings.

Getting the oil to stay evenly dispersed in a salad dressing can be a challenge, but not so much when you have an immersion blender. This tool also makes it easy to incorporate other whole ingredients, like raspberries or peach slices, into your dressings. A simple dressing to try is equal parts oil and vinegar, plus a few raspberries (to taste). Blend it up, and enjoy. You can make most any salad dressing recipe with your immersion blender and count on it being smooth and even.

Silky mashed potatoes.

If you prefer creamy, silky mashed potatoes to fluffy ones, make them with your immersion blender. It pulverizes the potatoes without adding a lot of air, so they stay creamier. Boil your potatoes in salted water, drain them, and add plenty of milk and butter to the pan before mashing them with your immersion blender.