I got a new blender the other day. I shopped around long and hard to find a blender that could make smoothes, soup, and pretty much anything else one would want to make with a blender. In the end I chose the Breville BBL600 ikon 600 Blender.
I have to say after using it for a while, the blender is really really good. It makes perfect soup and smoothies as well as any number of other things. The blade in this blender as well as the pre-programmed settings are the secret to its perfection.
I got the blender on sale at Macy’s for a pretty good proce (under $150) and I think you can find it for that price if you look around.