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Small Kitchen Appliances

Are Soup Makers Any Good?

By  Enda McLarnon

A lot of people ask the question are soup makers any good, or are soup makers worth the money? Those are both fair enough questions and the answer depends a lot on the intent of the person asking the question. Thousands of people throughout the UK like to have a bowl, mug or cup of soup for their lunch, as a starter or just to warm them up on a cold winter's day.

There are a few ways of doing this quickly using either packet or tinned soups. A soup maker is not really used for making those as all you need to do is add some hot water and heat the packets or tins up. A soup maker is all about making fresh soup from fresh ingredients, and also to make that quickly.

One of these machines can do that in about 20-30 minutes and will make around 1.5 litres of soup at a time. That is enough for about 4-5 bowls. You can make batches of these and also freeze them for using later. So the best way we could sum up a soup maker is that it makes fresh tasty soup, saves you a lot of time and is easy to clean up afterwards.

Do Soup Makers Actually Work?

The simple answer is yes they work very well. They are easy to use and easy to clean. For most of them you add your ingredients, add some stock, pick the type of soup that you want such as chunky broth, smooth or fully blended and hit a button.

The soup maker then heats up the contents and chops and stirs them until it finishes its cycle. That cycle is usually between 19-25 minutes depending on whether you prefer a smooth blended soup or a chunky style broth.

Are Soup Makers Worth the Money?

Soup makers can cost anything between £40-£150 with on average price of around £50-70, depending on exactly what you want.

Most models like Morphy Richards, Tower, Tefal, Lakeland etc can also be used to make smoothies, milk shakes, baby food, purées etc. 

So not only can you make a whole range of tasty soups but you can also use it almost like a mini-blender.

The initial cost of a soup maker is on average £60. Assuming you make one batch of soup per week (4 servings) the electricity cost of using the soup maker will be 10p. The average cost of ingredients will vary depending on what type of soup you are making, but on average around £3.00 per batch.

On average the price of a tin or packet of soup is about £0.60 which serves one person. Most of these contain flavourings, citric acid, colours such as beetroot red, carotenes, emulsifiers such as Mono- and Diacetyltartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids.

Do Soup Makers really save you time?

In thousand of homes up and down the UK parents are working more than they ever did before. People with no kids are also working longer hours as we live through these recessional times. In addition to this people are becoming more aware of the benefits of eating healthy foods.

The humble bowl of soup is one quick and simple way of ensuring that you and your family are getting the right amount of nutrients and minerals into the weekly diet. In my opinion this can be easily over looked by doing microwave meals, or by using foods like noodle pots, which are just not as good as a bowl of freshly made soup.

We think soup makers are big time savers and we have been using various models now for about 3 years. Once you have the ingredients in and have picked your setting, then you can leave it and get on with whatever else it is you have to do. When you come back to it, and usually an alarm sounds, then the soup is ready to eat.

Typically over the weekend people will make a couple of soups, say a Potato and Leek and a Tomato one. They will then freeze them and use them for lunches for the next week.

The whole process takes just over the hour and for most of that they can get on with doing something else. You don't have to be there to stir it or add anything to it or turn the heat down. Set it and forget it.

Why Not Just Use a Stick Blender?

There is no reason why you just can't make your soup the normal way and then blend it with a stick blender. Before soup makers were around that was what many people did when they wanted a smoother soup.

It takes a bit more work though as you have to get out the pot for the soup and then also get out the stick blender. They will both need washing up but at the end of the day it is not a big job.

Some people also make their soups in a pressure cooker and blend them. Blenders can splash though and make a bit of a mess.  You also need to use them in a certain way so as not to damage your cookware. With the soup maker you put the lid on, wait for the alarm and pour it into a mug or a bowl.

3 Reasons to Own a Soup Maker

Reason 1 - A Nutritious Meal for Your Family

Lunch times were made for a soup and a sandwich. They taste even better if you have a healthy nutritious soup such as Potato & Leek, Vegetable or Tomato made from fresh ingredients.

There are no additives, no colouring and nothing added other than what you put inside the soup maker. For anyone on a diet or who simply wants to lose some weight, then a bowl of soup is a great option.

One big group of buyers of these soup makers is of course people who go on a diet. They want to lose a bit of weight but also want something that is healthy and tasty. A few years back many people turned to juicers and smoothies to do this. Most soup makers can be used to make smoothies.

An interesting fact was that soup maker sales have been massive recently, as people wanting to get fit, or diet properly, have decided to opt for hot soup rather than cold green juices. Soup does not just have to be for lunch as it can also be used for a light snack at any time, as a hunger fix before heading off to the gym or for a swim, and even as a complement to a main meal.

Reason 2 - Avoid the Mess and the Clean Up

With a soup maker all the ingredients goes inside the maker. When it has made your soup, then rinse it out and wipe dry with a clean cloth. That is a great deal easier than having to handle a large soup pot, ladles and a blender if you like your soup that way.

Some people use a stick blender to make soups and it works fine. However is is all too easy to miss the target and you end up with splashes of soup all over your kitchen walls and counter tops. With your new soup maker once you put the lid on, all of that is done inside the appliance - no more mess.

Many soup makers also have a self-cleaning program which makes this process even faster.

Reason 3 - Making the Move

We visit a lot of cooking forums online as we have an interest in cooking. We read about people regularly knocking people who own one of these appliances. It is always an interesting debate to watch. Those who own soup makers are often criticised by people who say they should make it using a pot and a blender.

In almost all cases these people are stay at home Mums who "might" have the time to do this. If they make their soup that way then for sure it is a great way of making homemade soup. Not everyone is in that position of course and for people who are busy this is simply a time saving way of making homemade soup.

We can also never quite understand how someone who doesn't own a product can say it is a waste of time. One thing that was interesting to observe was that anyone who had tried one of these was actually very impressed when they did.

 Now we can think of a number of useless kitchen gadgets, and yes we have bought some, but this is not one of them. Owners can quickly whip up a couple of batches of different types of soups over the weekend, and use them as lunches by taking a flask to work, or even to heat up in the microwave at work.

Summary

Not everyone will need or make good use of a soup maker. The last thing most kitchens need is another gadget that will be left in a cupboard taking up valuable space. 

If however you like fresh tasty soups that can be made quickly with no mess and no fuss, then a soup maker is in my opinion, a very good investment.

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