You already know blenders are a useful kitchen tool for making smoothies, milkshakes, soups and even Dutch babies.

With summer upon us, we thought it was a good time for a refresher on ways to use that blender to make savory meals that aren’t too heavy, too hot, too much for the weather.

Almond Gazpacho With Cherries and Flowers, above. Perhaps youre already familiar with the more well-known tomato-based gazpacho. Time to pivot to this lesser-known, but equally delicious gazpacho, ajo blanco. This garlicky, creamy soup is a blank slate for any toppings you want. Traditionally, grapes are the garnish of choice, though we liked cherries. Add edible flowers, when you feel fancy.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Sunflower Ranch Dressing. Vegan ranch? Yes. Soak sunflower seeds and let them whir up into a super-creamy dressing that you can serve with crudite, on top your favorite salad and with pizza.



(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie Benwick/The Washington Post)

Cashew Green Goddess Dip. Green goddess dressing is an herbaceous favorite. Turn it into a dip for crisp vegetables, too.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Cauliflower Gazpacho. One more chilled soup for summer. Chef Carla Hall helped staff writer Emily Heil craft this gorgeous soup from Emilys kitchen pantry staples. Its a winner in our book.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post).

Red Chilaquiles (Chilaquiles Rojos). You could rely on a can of enchilada sauce, or you could follow a few steps and add a few ingredients to kick it into high gear. The resultant sauce should not be limited to chilaquiles — you can use it anywhere.



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Spicy Tahini Pasta. The blender allows you to cut the work and ensure a creamy texture in this tahini sauce.

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