I was finally back reviewing having gotten my exams out of the way. But now I am moving house and just before Christmas this makes it an eve more hectic process! I will be back reviewing asap!!
Members who trust:109
Soup Glorious Soup
It is an all - in - one appliance which saves a lot of time and energy
Must be careful with steam and cooking takes longer than what the recipes suggest
Ease of use
Value for money
Cleaning & MaintenanceFair
How much did you pay?£119
Special features?Different heat settings, different blend settings
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On the lead up to Christmas my boyfriend was asking me what he could get me. I mentioned the Cuisinart Soup Maker a few times from which he laughed and said he was not buying me a soup maker for Christmas. But I assured him that it was what I really wanted. I really wanted one to help encourage me to make soups to take to work. At work for lunch I tend to buy sandwiches, or fast food which adds up to be both very bad for my figure and health as well as my for my purse. So for Christmas he bought me what I had asked for... which I was thrilled about!
So Christmas day night I took it out of the box and put the few pieces together which took a couple of minutes... it was incredibly simple. The part which confused me was I tried to screw on the actual glass jar to the motor base like most food blenders but with this one you simply place the glass jar onto its base because it has the heating element which fixes to the glass jar.
So come Boxing Day I made my first soup for everybody which was a nerve racking and exciting time! (I do realise I sound very sad about making soup!) I made potato and leek soup for 8 of us (which involved doing two lots in the soup maker) and much to my amazement it tasted wonderful. However, there were a few glitches but now I know about these I was much better prepared when making my second batch of soup which was carrot and coriander two days later to take to work. I will elaborate on the few glitches a bit later on in the review.
What Came in the Box?
The motor base which has a reasonable length of cable to reach the plug socket. The motor base also has non-slip rubber feet, it has a heat control with three settings: low, shimmer and high. High replicates boiling. It has a blending control button for stirring the soup as you go. It has a timer control which if you press the minus button it will count down from 30 minutes and if you press the plus button it will start to increase the minutes to time from 1 minute. This I like a lot because most of the recipes take about half an hour so I do not have to keep pressing the add on button to 30 minutes I can be taken there straight away. The motor base also has an on/off button which illuminates to be red when on. It has a blending control rotating button which goes from 1 (at low blending) to 4 (which is the highest and quickest level of blending). Typically a soup needs to be on level 2 to blend enough (so it is pretty powerful).
The glass jar with a 1.4 litre capacity which sits on the motor base has a large handle for lifting on and off of the motor base. It also has a removable plastic lid which has within it a removable measuring cup.
Also within the box comes an instructions manual on how to set it up as well as a quick guide on one sheet and a recipe book.
The recipe book is great because it gives you a step by step guide on how to use the soup maker to make each specific soup.
An Example of How to Make Soup Using the Soup Maker...
For example, to make leek and potato soup it involves setting the timer to 27 minutes and turning it onto high (which is the boiling mode). Then add a knob of butter and a tbsp of olive oil, then add some crushed garlic and finely sliced onion. Then use the stir button a couple of times. Then add 3 sliced leeks cover over with the lid to allow the leeks to sweat for a couple of minutes. Then add the chopped up potatoes (2 potatoes) as well as 700ml of vegetable or chicken stock. Then change the heat setting to simmer for about 20 minutes. Throughout the 20 minutes press the stir button a couple of times. Then add seasoning and double cream at the end and blend on setting 2. Then ta da your soup is made. The timer when finished beeps several times to let you know it has finished and it stops itself from cooking anymore.
This I know sounds incredibly simple... it is simple! However, the few glitches that occurred were that the 27 minutes was not enough time to fully cook the leeks and potatoes. When I first tried the soup when made according to the recipe, the potatoes and leeks were slightly crunchy within it. So I put the soup back on to boil for another 5 minutes and to simmer for an extra 10 minutes. Then I blended it again and re-seasoned and it was perfect! This makes sense because if you think about it you could not fully cook potatoes enough in 20 minutes whilst on simmer. They would have needed to boil for 5 or so minutes to begin with and be simmering for about 25/30 minutes at least.
So I do think the recipe book makes out like cooking the soup takes 30 minutes max when really to ensure the vegetables are fully cooked through it takes at least 40 if not 45 minutes. However, now I know this I know for future soups and it is not really a problem.
Additionally I learnt not to put any more stock into making the soup than it suggests because if you boil too much mixture it can overflow – which I made sure I reduced what I had in the jar to prevent this from happening as I could see it as being a disaster waiting to happen.
One recipe/making of soup in the soup maker feeds approximately 4 people.
A Couple of Downsides or Warnings
One downside is that the machine must be watched whilst it is boiling – I always think that it is going to blast the lid off the glass jar because it goes at such a vigorous pace whilst boiling! And often when boiling a lot of steam comes off the machine so I sometimes take out the small measuring cup which is inside the lid to allow the steam to escape. This also means that if you ever take the lid off during cooking for example to add salt and pepper, you need to be very careful to ensure you did not burn your hand from the steam.
Now cleaning this glass jar is a little bit tricky because it is very heavy and the bottom of it has slots which the heating element on the motor base slots into so you do not want to get the bottom of the jar wet at all. So you can either very carefully wash it in the sink or you can add hot water and some fairy liquid into it and pop it back onto the motor base with the lid on and put it on simmer and it will gradually swill the water and fairy liquid together around the jar. However, after this it still requires a little bit of TLC with a sponge to get the lasts bits off so it is thoroughly clean.
And Where to Buy...
It can bought from Lakeland for £119 or from Amazon for £116.99 (I know it seems like a lot of money – but it really does save a lot of time and effort and encourages you to make soups!)
Was it a Good Christmas Present?
Definitely!! I am so thrilled with it. I have used it about 6/7 times now and not just for soups. It can also makes dips, dressings, sauces such as tikka masala, sauces for pasta, desserts like strawberry fool and drinks like hot chocolate. All of these recipes come within the recipe book with the soup maker. It is a real life saver of a machine to avoid hassle. Previously when I have made soup the hassle has been tremendous from washing lots of different pans and to blending everything together in a separate food processor. So this soup maker does everything... it boils, simmers and blends. Additionally it takes no time at all to heat the machine up, straight when I turn it on it is hot within a minute ready to use. I love the fact that when making your own soup you see exactly what goes into it and you can see how healthy it is and soup is very filling as well!
(I do have photographs of the soup maker in action and my soup ready to be eaten, but unfortunately it will not let me upload them).