Drain one of the cans of chickpeas. Dump both cans (including liquid from one) into the blender. Place all remaining ingredients except salt in the blender in the order listed, using the smaller amounts. Start the machine on low and increase speed to high. Use the Vitamix plunger to break up air pockets and push chickpeas toward the blades, if necessary. (Other blenders: Stop and use a spatula to do this.) If the mixture is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time. Turn up to the highest speed and blend for a few seconds until hummus is completely smooth.
If using home-cooked chickpeas, use 3 cups chickpeas and 3/4 cup chickpea broth or water.
I often remove half of the hummus to serve as-is and get creative with the other half. Try adding any one of the following during the last brief blending: roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle chile peppers, green onions, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, jalapeno peppers, black or green olives, balsamic vinegar, spinach, smoked salt or Liquid Smoke.