We have a simple rule in our kitchen: if we buy a new piece of equipment, something has to go.
We go a long way with good knives and a couple decent pots, and we don't use many gadgets. But I do like my immersion blender, and have been using it for over ten years.
I can make a creamy soup in a few minutes from ingredients in the freezer:
Stock (see previous post)
Mirepoix (see previous post)
Leftover roasted vegetables (e.g., carrots, sweet potatoes, squash)
A spoonful of tomato paste (for acid, color, umami)
Salt and pepper
I just heat all this up, then blend right in the pot. The result is better than canned.
I never make the same soup twice. For example, spices, or fresh ginger (stored in the freezer), or garlic move the soup around the world.
Other dishes I make with the immersion blender include eggplant dip and a surprisingly good banana chocolate "ice cream." The "ice cream" is actually:
Bananas, a little past their prime, saved in the freezer, thawed slightly
A couple good heaps of cocoa powder
A small amount of milk to help everything to grip while it is being blended
Cleanup is minimal compared to the mess made transferring liquids to a countertop blender.