Nutritious, comforting and filling, a bowl of soup is as simple as it is satisfying. It’s a versatile dish that works well as a quick lunch or as a cost-effective dinner (especially if you have many mouths to feed), and it can also be a great way of upping your vegetable intake in just one dish. If you love the idea of healthy home-made soups but haven’t got time to chop mountains of veg, slave over a hot stove, decant and blend in batches, and then clear away piles of pans, a soup maker can save you time and effort in the kitchen. Simply pop in your ingredients, add stock and let the gadget work its magic. You’ll have a hassle-free wholesome meal, blended to your desired consistency, in next to no time.
When deciding on the size of soup maker to buy, we suggest you think in the units CoS (cans of soup, or 400ml). So a one-litre capacity soup maker is 2.5 ToS and perfectly adequate for two people. However, soups can be kept safely in the fridge for three to four days, so making a couple of extra batches for later in the week is a worthwhile time-saver and may make it worth investing in a larger model.
Best For Super-Fast Soups: Salter EK1548
Love soup but short on time? This Salter gadget can whizz up a hearty bowlful in just 20 minutes. The jug has a capacity of 1.6 litres and it can be set to whizz up your soup to your preferred consistency – purée, chunky or blended smooth. As well as being super-speedy, the Salter EK1548 is good value at under £60, and its stainless steel jug is easy to clean.
Best For Small Kitchens: Morphy Richards Compact
This stylish and versatile stainless-steel soup maker is the right size for any couple or two-person flat-share. You can make soup in its one-litre jug in as little as 19 minutes, although it takes 25 to produce a thicker blend. There’s also the option of making blended drinks, and if the consistency isn’t to your liking there’s a manual blend button so you can get it just so. The top-down blade and non-stick lining makes cleaning straightforward.
Buy from John Lewis | £39.99
Best For Features: Morphy Richards 501020 Total Control
It may look like a kettle but this super soup maker comes with a range of handy features that make broth-making a breeze. There’s a portion control function that adapts the cooking time to suit the portion size you select, as well as a reheat button that treats leftovers with the care they deserve. The stainless steel pan is easy to rinse after use, plus you can simply pour water and washing-up liquid into the unit and set the blades in motion to clean the base.
Easiest To Use: Tefal Easy Soup
You’re only two clicks away from fresh soup. That’s the promise of the Tefal Easy Soup maker. Simply add your veg to the jug, select the programme you want to use from the choice of three options – smooth soup, chunky soup, or compote – and hit start. Actually there’s one other option on top: the cleaning programme, which makes life easier for you as well.
The cost of this simplicity is that you can’t change the cooking time (20-25min depending on the desired consistency) or temperature, which is set at 100°C. There’s no sauté feature either. However, if you want a simple soup with the minimum of fuss, this is the maker for you.
Best For Versatility: Cuisinart Soup Maker Plus SSB3U
Cuisinart’s comprehensive appliance offers four blending speeds for a variety of soup styles and features a sauté function and a slow stir setting that you can use to make risotto and curries. You can also use it as a standard blender for sauces and smoothies, as well as for crushing ice. The lack of any preset programmes means that you’ll need to be a little more hands-on with this one but it allows keen cooks to get a bit more creative. The glass jug and non-stick base are easy to clean, and it comes with a recipe book.
The Best Soup Makers For Quick, Healthy, Hassle-Free Soups is written by jshannon for www.coachmag.co.uk