The problem is, my food processor is kaput, not that I’m sure the thing ever worked. I also own no blender. How should I go about pureeing the soup to prepare it for serving? Will an electric hand mixer work?
The way pureeing was done pre-food processors was using a drum sieve or tamis. If you’ve got a wire sieve, you can approximate pureeing. It won’t be super smooth, but it’s probably the best you’ll get without a food processor or hand blender.
Just make sure everything is cooked to the point that it’s falling apart, and pour it into the sieve set over a bowl. Push it through with a spatula or spoon.
If you’d like to pick up an appliance for not a lot of money for these situations, you might look at a stick blender (sometimes called a hand blender). They can get up to the $100 range, but I have a cheap one (less than $25 if I remember correctly) that works OK for recipes like this, and is definitely handy when you want to puree something that’s more fibrous.
A mortar and pestle will also work for smooshing things to a paste, but that’s probably more small-scale than what the OP needs here.
If it’s really a matter of not having the right tools but not wanting to buy new stuff, I guess you could MacGyver yourself a scaled-up version of a mortar and pestle by pouring the food into a large mixing bowl and mashing everything with the largest spoon in the house.
One of these will work pretty well. Foley makes the one we have. We mostly use if for potatoes, but I’ve used it to make a paste of chicken livers for a spread and it worked fine. Most of the pumpkin’s coarse stuff won’t go through and that’s a good thing.
I spent over 20 years as a medieval recreationist, and one of my specialties has been medieval cooking in field conditions [camping events, many times kitchens are not available. Hell, many times running water = a potable water spiggot in a pasture] and our camp at the national convention also known as the Pennsic War is known for the food. I think the most people I have made dinner for was 125, but in my own insanity plea I did have a kitchen staff of 2 sous chefs and 4 scullions helping me.
Besides, making potage puree des haricots blanc is a snap compared to eggs benedict for 25 =)
Actually I made white sals at pennsic using well emptied 1 lb propane cylinders to pound the ingredients sealed into double 1 gallon ziplok freezer bags. We had brought hummus, but it had gone green and fuzzy because someone left it out of the cooler and we needed a replacement we could make with ingredients we had at hand. Very odd to watch, very similar to Drakemir Piridvicvic repairing a laptop at troll in lanternlight wearing 13th century rus clothing =)
If you’re willing to spend more time and end up with a smoother than colander consistency, you can just use a big knife. Just like you were dicing ginger into a paste. I had to improvise this once when cooking at an old girlfriend’s house who had no blender, processor, whisk or strainer. It works fine.