As I have already previously confessed – I just love a good kitchen gadget. If it can do more than one thing (or even if it can just do the one thing really well), I am all for trying it out.
This has of course meant that over the years I have acquired quite a few items that have only been taking up space in our kitchen, and that have not been used all that often.
However, one of the gizmos I find myself using more and more the longer I have it is my soup maker.
Yes, I know I can make soup without it, and I know I can probably make a tastier broth on my own.
But what I like about it is the efficiency and the ease. And the fact that you don’t need to wash up dozens of dishes – there’s just the one.
Add to that the fact that a good soup maker can also be used to make baby food, smoothies, even jams and curry in some cases, and you can see why I am so taken with it.
I do understand if this is not quite the gadget for you. It can take up a fair bit of space, and you may prefer to do your soup making on the stove. But as winter approaches yet again, and as we are all in need of some extra comfort – you might want to give one of these guys a go.
But first, of course, let us take a look at some soup maker purchasing essentials:
What is the difference between a soup maker and a blender?
They can appear deceptively similar. Some soup makers look like smaller blenders, and they often come with a blade that will chop your ingredients.
In fact, there are two kinds of soup makers. The more basic version will require you to add your chopped ingredients and turn it on. The other kind of soup maker comes with a set of blades that will chop things for you (like a blender), but it also has a heat source, so it will cook the soup too. There are also soup makers that come with a sauté option, that will all you to brown onions, garlic or meats.
In short, there are soup makers that are essentially a blender with added heat – as well as those without the chopping element.
What to look for in a soup maker
Apart from the blending option, there are some other features in a soup maker you will want to keep an eye out for:
Size: think about the amount of soup you want to be making – is it just for yourself, or is it a family affair?
Cooking time: while you do want a soup maker that is reasonably fast, you also need to take into account that making soup does take some time. 30 minutes is what it usually takes, so don’t expect anything much faster than that. On the other hand, there are models that will require more time, so depending on the recipes you want to make, consider what kind of cooking time your require.
Ease of cleaning: while using a soup maker means you only have to wash up one thing, the one thing can be incredibly difficult to wash up. There are soup makers that have a cleaning function, where you add a bit of warm water and dish soap and let the machine do the cleaning, but this might not get it as clean as you would like it. You will need to use a warm cloth to get some of the bits out, while being mindful of the blades (if there are any). Consider the size of the jug + blades + how easy it is to clean before making your purchase.
Programs and features: most soup makers can do chunky or smooth soups – meaning they will blend or not blend your ingredients. However, more sophisticated models can come with added programs for making sauces, smoothies, milkshakes, jams or even for crushing ice – so take a good look at the features of your chosen soup maker before making a purchase.
Let’s take a look at some of the more appealing soup makers out there:
Let’s start with a simple and efficient Morphy Richards model.
This soup maker has a 1 litre capacity, which means you can prepare 3 starter portions, or 2 large portions of your favourite soup in as little as 19 minutes (or 25 minutes for your chunkier recipes).
It comes with 4 different settings: smooth, chunky, drinks and manual, so you will definitely be able to make that perfect cup of soup, finer or with a little bit more bite to it. There is also a Blend button that can help you tailor the texture even further.
All you need to do is chop up your ingredients, throw them in the soup maker and select the setting. The LCD display will tell you how long it will take to cook, so you can come back at the right time and just serve up.
It’s also easy to clean – all you have to do is rinse with some warm water, wipe down with a soapy sponge, rinse again, and you are all set.
In short – an easy to use soup maker that will fit into any kitchen. Not the largest one out there, but perfect for one or two people.
Next on my list is this NETTA soup maker, a little bit larger than the previous model.
This one has a capacity of 1.6 litres, so you can make more portions. Great if you are looking to feed more mouths.
It also has 4 settings to choose from: chunky or smooth soup or smoothie + there is also an auto-cleaning feature that can help you save some time on the washing up. I would still clean it by hand from time to time though, just to be on the safe side.
The blades are housed at the top, making for a smooth mixture, and this NETTA also comes with an overfill sensor (so there won’t be any spillage), as well as a cut-out system for safety, so you can rest assured you can leave this one to do its things while you go and enjoy a bit of Netflix (or clean the kitchen).
It will need around 25 minutes to get your soup ready for you – but you might also need to do some prep work beforehand, like chop up your ingredients to tinier pieces, or sauté your onions or garlic, as well as pre-boil your potatoes, as this soup maker can’t quite handle the toughest of veggies.
A good option for easy-to-make soups and smoothies, but not the best of the bunch.
This Salter soup maker is a tad upper scale than the two previous models – and it will help you make that perfect soup in 20-30 minutes.
It has a capacity of 1.3 up to 1.6 litres, so you can make plenty of hearty nourishment for the entire family. It also has an easy-to-pour lid, so your delish meal won’t go flying all over the dinner table.
It has 3 settings: puree, chunky or blend, so you can get that perfect consistency and thickness with your soups. It also has an intelligent control system that will prevent ingredients from spilling over or burning, so you can leave the soup to cook unattended – which is the beauty of these kitchen gadgets.
It is easy to clean too, as the blades are again found on the lid, so you can detach the rest and give it a thorough and proper clean.
The handle is a bit less comfy than with other models, so you might find the grip a bit bothersome, but the quality of the soup itself is really good, so don’t let that deter you.
A reliable and basic model, perfect for those hearty and healthy autumn soups.
Here is an even larger soup maker from VonShef, if you are truly looking for an appliance that can help you make bulk soups for the entire family.
You can use it to make soups and smoothies, but you can also puree baby food in it, perfect if you are looking for that one appliance that can take care of several tasks without too much hassle.
It has 4 settings: chunky, smooth, blend and pulse – so it gives you even more options for getting that perfect custom texture, depending on your preferences and the ingredients you are using.
It also has a cut-off device that will stop everything if the jug is too full, and it will also cut out if it gets overheated, so it’s perfectly safe and can be left unsupervised.
There are two markers on the jug, one for hot liquids and the other for colds, so you can get your consistencies just right. There is no countdown, but an alarm will go off when your soup is done, and you can check the thermometer to ensure everything is going as planned.
A versatile appliance that can help you multitask with more ease.
Here is a soup maker that claims to be the fastest among its kin – and that it can make soup in 19 minutes, which indeed is quite impressive.
It has the usual 4 settings, but they are a bit different than what we have seen so for. There’s a sauté option, a smooth option, a smooth+ option, and a chunky option. The sauté will allow you to brown your ingredients on the hot plate of the soup maker, and the smooth+ option is good for cold drinks or nut milks.
It also has a memory function, which allows you to season and add extra ingredients during the cooking process. It won’t reset like other soup makers, but continue where you left off. Great if you want to taste your soup while it cooks too.
It can also keep your dish warm for up to 2 hours, so you can set your soup up, run some errands, and come back to a hearty and nutritious meal waiting for you – warm and ready for serving.
The auto-clean option means you can just add a bit of water and detergent to it and it will clean itself so you don’t have to. Great for most messes, but you will need to do a proper clean every once in a while.
A great appliance for those on the go.
Here is another versatile soup maker from Tefal, a brand we all know and love in the non-stick pan department.
This soup maker lets you make chunky and smooth soups, as well as smoothies and compotes, so there is that sweet option available as well if that’s what you are hankering for. The compote program can also make baby food, so if you are looking for a healthy and easy meal prep option for your youngest, this soup maker can lend a helping jug.
It’s a bit smaller than some of the other models – and can work with 1.2 litres. On the other hand, it’s pretty fast, with 25 minutes for chunky and 23 minutes for smooth soup, and it also has an auto-clean option to ease your workload.
What makes it very neat is the ease of use – you just add your ingredients, select the setting and press start, and that is it – the soup maker will let you know when it’s chow time. It can also keep your soup warm for up to 40 minutes, and it will do so automatically if you don’t show up for your meal the minute it beeps.
Simple and easy to use, overall a very neat soup maker for a smaller family unit.
Here is a more advanced model for you – this Lakeland will cut, blend, cook, stir and simmer your soup in its one jug, and all you have to do is prepare the actual ingredients.
This is a very hassle-free appliance, one that also comes with 4 settings, and will brew you up a delicious soup in 30-ish minutes. You can do chunky, you can do smooth, you can do creamy – and there are also three blending speeds, low, medium and high. The temperatures can be set range from 75 to 100°C, so you should find making that perfect bowl of yum very straightforward.
The touchscreen panel makes it super easy to choose the right setting, and it also comes with a countdown timer that can alert you to the state of your meal.
However, soup is not all you can make with this appliance. There is a setting for sauces (ready in 20 minutes), as well as an ice setting that will not heat your ingredients, and is perfect for smoothies or milkshakes, but you can also do cold sauces or dips.
The heating plate is non-stick, and there is an auto-clean setting as well to help you clean up. You do also get a cleaning brush that will help you clean around the blades when you need to.
Since you can also add extra ingredients while cooking, there is nothing you can’t make with this soup maker, or at least so it seems.
A reliable, versatile and easy to use soup maker you will love to use.
Finally, we have one more soup maker on this list, this time by Cuisinart.
This model will also allow you to simmer, sauté, cook and blend with the one glass jar it comes with, so less mess and much less hassle with your prep.
It lets you do soups, jams, sauces, as well as risottos, ramen or curries, and the cool options is great for smoothies or cocktails.
There are three settings you can choose from, as well as 4 blending options, so you can tailor the thickness and consistency of your meal to your liking.
As for capacity, it lets you do 1.4 litres for your hot liquids, and 1.75 litres for your cool liquids, so you should be totally set for a larger group of people as well.
With the adjustable settings and plenty of customisability, plus the fact that the blades or on the bottom of the jar, you can tailor your dishes as much as you need to – and you can truly make hundreds of delicious dishes easily and with as little washing up as possible.
You can clean the jug with a bit of soapy water set to the lowest blend, but you will still need to do a proper wash every once in a while, like with any other jug or blender.
A great soup maker (and so much more) if you are looking for ease of use, reliability and plenty of options.
What should I make in my soup maker?
If you are now itching to make yourself some warming and hearty soup (and can we all agree the weather is perfect for it?) – here are a couple of my favourite recipes.
Butternut squash is a veggie you either love or hate – but if you are a fan, here is a great soup recipe to warm you up.
If you are looking for something more traditional, this leek and potato soup is also a very warming and delicious one, and it will not take too long to make.
Tom loves this spicy bean soup – and it really is great when you are looking for something with a bit of a kick.
If you are looking for a broccoli soup recipe, I have you covered with this one – my personal favourite, especially when I am looking to focus on eating more green veggies (which is something I yearn for every winter).
And finally, here is this carrot and ginger soup that will chase the blues away – amazing if you love ginger!
Which soup maker should I buy?
As always, the answer to that question will depend on your own personal preferences.
If you are looking for a simple soup maker that is easy to use and efficient, the first 4 soup makers might be to your taste.
If you are looking for something with added options, choices 5 through 8 are increasingly advanced, and a great addition to any kitchen.
Enjoy your warm and tasty soup this autumn season – and remember, winter is coming.