I saw this advertised on the T.V a couple of months ago, and what with winter drawing in I thought a soup maker would make a welcomed addition in my kitchen. Soups are perfect on a cold winters day, or just simply for using up some of your left over's from a Sunday roast or other such meals. This I find is something I often do. When this was advertised I thought it would save me a lot of time so I decided to purchase one of these.
I purchased this from the actual Cuisinart website itself, this cost me £140, and it is still retailing at that current price. However from looking around online just now I have seen it available for just under £120 on Tesco Direct which is quite a good saving, so be more money savvy than me and please shop around if you intend on buying this.
Initially I did think this product was quite expensive, for someone who doesn't often cook or eat soup paying £140 for a soup maker would seem absurd I'm sure. However as I eat soup quite regularly as do many of my family I thought I would get a lot of use out of it.
You can get the gist of the overall look of the appliance from the above picture; it is dark grey/black so fits into my kitchen well. I will simply use this section to explain the buttons and controls on the machine that you can't see or understand from the picture.
This does come with a fairly thorough instruction manual but it is quite self explanatory. The first few controls are very similar to your average blender; you have the on switch then just below is the dial. This gives you the different speed settings for the blending; they are simply changed by twisting the dial from left to right to increase the speed or the opposite to decrease.
Then we have the mix button, this will stir your ingredients whilst it is cooking. This makes sure than all ingredients are cooked thoroughly.
Just below are the cooking and timer controls. The timer is very easy to use the simple + and - signs will increase or decrease the cooking time. There are then 3 buttons for the cooking settings. Low, Medium, High. You chose whichever one suits your recipe and required cooking time.
This soup maker has a capacity of 1.75 litres however for soup you are only allowed to fill it to 1.4 litres. You are probably wondering how you can fill it to one 1.75 if you not allowed that much soup, well this machine also allows you to make smoothies, cocktails, dips and other cold products. Which you can fill to the full capacity. The glass jar has clear markings so you know how much you are making. This glass jar also has thermal qualities so this will retain the heat of your soup once it is cooked.
This has a very powerful heating element which will allow you to cook a soup in around 20 minutes. This makes it perfect for busy on the go people who want a quick but wholesome meal. The non-stick cooking plate allows you to brown potatoes or vegetables, whilst preventing burning or sticking. This also promotes a self cleaning feature, but I will come back to that later!
The lid of this blender is very easy to remove and you can easily add ingredients, at any time throughout the process this way. Or there is a smaller lid on top, which easily lifts so you can add smaller ingredients without having to take the whole lid off. This lid is triple sealed to ensure safety when blending hot liquids.
All the different controls and buttons make this whole process very quick and easy. The strong metal blades ensure blending is as quick as possible. You can also crush ice this way for your cold drinks
One feature this promotes is the fact of self cleaning as mentioned earlier. It seems to clean the bottom of the jug ok but it doesn't clean the top, so you may as well just clean the whole thing yourself. This can work out to be very difficult, and time consuming.
Another thing I've noticed is that when I pour the soup from the jug you get some soup that slides down the front as you can probably imagine. Thanks to gravity this will then flow down and get stuck in between the bottom of the glass jug and the base. As you can't remove the base this is impossible to clean! This is a major design flaw, and for the money I paid I would have expected a higher standard than that.
Would I Purchase Again?
In hindsight I don't think I would purchase this soup maker again. Although the features are very high tech and makes light work of soup making I have had many comments preferring my old soups from your normal hob and pan. For such and expensive appliance I would of thought they would of put more effort into the cleaning side of it, and that it was actually self cleaning as they promote. If it was marginally cheaper than maybe, but at this current price I don't think it's worth it. I do still enjoy using this machine but have found that I use it more for cocktails or iced soft drinks, due to the cleaning flaw when making soup. This makes me think I should have just brought your average blender and saved myself a few bob!
I'm knocking off 2 stars for the design flaw when cleaning, and the hefty price tag.
I love making soup and in the winter I try and make a pan at least a couple of times a week. I think it is one of the cheapest and most nutritious meals that I can make myself and the kids and I like that I can just chuck in loads of different ingredients and experiment and 99% of the time the soup turns out just fine.
I got this soup maker from my sister as she had bought it and never used it. I wasn't really sure why you would even need a soup maker because it is so easy to make it in a pan but it was free so I wasn't about to turn it down.
It is made by Cuisinart and it cost my sister a whopping £100 to buy brand new. Although I have now grown to love it I still wouldn't pay this for it as I think it is too expensive when soup is easy enough to make without it.
The benefit of the soup maker is that it does actually make it speedier to make soup and it does take away the need to keep a constant eye on it when it is cooking.
The soup maker looks like a fancy blender probably because that is basically what it boils down to (no pun intended). It is so easy to use that even the most inexperienced cook can make up a batch of delicious fresh homemade soup.
All you need to do is put your ingredients into the jug and attach it to the base and press the button and your soup will start to cook. The soup cooks a lot quicker than it does in a pan on the cooker and once it has cooked everything through you just press the button to blend all the ingredients in the jog to whatever consistency you want.
The soup maker comes with a recipe booklet which does have some decent recipes in it but a quick search on google will find you some better ones. It is good enough to start with though for people who have never made soup before and are looking to use the maker straight away.
It can make the soup chunky or smooth and it does it all really well. As well as making soups it is also relaly good for making sauces of all kinds and it has more or less completely replaced my blender as I usually just chuck everything that needs blended in here.
Cleaning it is easy enough as the jug separate from the base so I can just put it in the sink. I do have to try and clean it shortly after making soup though as if I leave it and the soup hardens to the jug it is awkward to be able to rise it off.
I only have two minor complaints about the soup maker and they are that I wish the jug was a little bit bigger because it only has a capacity of 1.4 litres which isn't a lot especially as I like to make enough soup to be able to freeze a couple of portions as well. The other is that it is quite a big item and does take up quite a bit of storage room. Other than these I think it is fabulous and highly recommend. I have deducted one star for the price however as I do think it is a luxury and an expensive one at that and not something that you actually need to buy.
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 blended 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!
This is an impressive soup maker, when i first saw the product I had never heard of the brand. Once I done some research i went and ordered one from an online store arrived within a couple days when i received it i was itching to try it so i started making a leak and potato soup for the family.
The soup maker is hard to get used to but after a few attempts i had it working perfectly, the soup maker has some really good features that have come in handy the way that you can have the soup cooking and then press the simmer button that ensures the soup does not get stuck at the bottom.
I have also used the soup maker to make hot chocolate this is good for hot chocolate as this heats it up and also makes a lot of froth, which makes the drink more enjoyable.
The Cuisinart can be used for cold mixes as well, i made a milkshake which was creamy, which was really nice i also made a ice drink, that was also nice.
Yes, it's a really good idea. When it was new it was sort of OK, very impressive actually. But as designed, it has faults. For one thing, if you want to use it on the highest setting (hottest), you have to stand and watch it, or it will boil over. The middle setting can be OK if the machine isn't too full, so that leaves the low setting which means any cooking time will take ages.
The next problem is the blender cutters, they seize-up after awhile. Then you will likely run into the problem of the electricity tripping out and/or fuses blowing. To be fair to my retailer, he did replace the first one with another straight away. When the second one did the same I kind of fell out of love with the whole thing. Yes, it really is a good idea, but they just haven't got it right. It's an expensive learning lesson. Oh, and it really is too small as well. The whole thing is a real shame.
My husband bought this for me for my birthday and I couldnt be happier with it!
It does everything and more that it's advertised to do. It comes with a fab recipe book and ideas and is on facebook to give advice and more ideas.
The hot plate works great for browning off onions and peppers, etc and heats up within seconds! No need for seperate pans.
The soup cooks so quickly and makes the vegetables really soft without losing any of the goodness. The blend mode works really well too and the lid fits so snuggly, none of the hot liquid can escape.
It reheats the soup really quickly when you're ready for it or if you set it to simmer mode it keeps the heat really well.
I have also used it for making cocktails and the blades are so sharp it crushes ice in seconds.
It's self cleaning by half filling the jug with warm water and a drop of washing up liquid. You just put it on blend and all the water washes out the jug.
This is the most recent addition to my kitchen, having purchased it about 6 weeks ago - and having used it probably about 4 times a week, every week, since then. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the Cuisinart Soup Maker is a necessity to any kitchen, but I would say that it is one of those "must have" items that really can make your life a whole lot easier.
As the name suggests, this is a soup maker - and although you can, of course, make soup without the soup maker, this device kind of provides all that you need to make a delicious soup.....you just need to add the ingredients. Essentially, it is a blender but it also incorporates a heating device which allows you to boil, simmer or heat the soups ingredients and the soup itself. Therefore, this product allows you to prepare the soups ingredients by boiling or sauteing, and then to either keep the soup warm or to reheat the soup with it is required.
On the front of the Cuisinart base is a dial where you can change the settings to saute, boil or heat. This is easy to do as its literally just a dial - which moves easily and unhindered. The heat settings are not as responsive as on the hob, but its not far off. On the same dial is the option to blend and pulse the ingredients - and this function is very effective and as good as any blender I have used. Beneath the dial, there is a timer function where you can set the amount of time you want the soup to boil / simmer for.
A negative is that I'd like to see the jug component slightly larger. Basically you can blend up to 1.4 litres of soup at one time - and this can be a little limiting if you have a large family as I do. 1.4 Litres is actually not that much. As far as I am aware, the Cuisinart only comes in one size - but maybe this is something that will change in the future.
Another negative, is that I didn't find it that easy to remove the jug from the base....especially when the jug is full of piping hot soup. It seems very stiff and it takes quite a bit of manoevering to get the jug unattached from the base. Luckily, the lid does stop the soup from slopping over the top and scalding the person removing it though.
Cleaning the Cuisinart is fairly easy - although as with all blenders, its a job I hate because I'm always wary about getting the electrical components wet....rendering them damaged or dangerous!
The Cuisinart is not cheap! It cost me £129 from John Lewis - which is pretty expensive for a blender....even if it does have a heater attached! However, having said that, I don't regret buying it because it has revolutionised the way I make soups.....something which I do regularly in the autumn and winter months.
Overally, I really like this product and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys soups....it will encourage you to make soups, I promise! Its not perfect and I think there are a few things that could be tweeked, but hopefully this will come with the next model upgrade.
I`m not all that addicted to kitchen gadgets, and when I saw this product, I thought to myself that this probably is one of those products that would end up covered in dust deep inside a broom closet... But faith would have it that I received this soup maker for my birthday, and ever since, I`ve realized that making soup in this machine is very much fun, and it awards you great tasting soup without stress and a lot of labor!
Most of the soups I make in this fancy thing takes from between 20-40 minutes, depending upon the ingredients and recipe I`m making... And seeing as the cost of it is rather high, about 116.99, I would almost have a guilty conscience for not using it more, so I use it a lot! This machine not only allows you to make your own soup, you can also very fast and easy reheat soup left overs, and if you want to, add some fresh ingredients to spice it up again... You begin the process by adding a bit of oil to the machine, the jug, and letting it warm for some minutes, before adding your ingredients, this is a easy process that also can be learned from the guideline book, and the entire process shouldn`t take longer than about 40 minutes, again depending upon the soup you`re making... After use, I prefer to add very warm water to the jug, as this makes it easier to clean afterwards, and I do not, I repeat, I do not, wash the jug in a dish washer! I simply remove the jug from the base and wash all by hand, this isn`t all that time consuming...
Now when autumn is arriving, I love sitting inside with a smoking warm bowl of soup, and with this machine, I`ve added to my repertoar of soup cuisine, and I think my friends enjoy the various flavours I`ve created as well! An expensive, yet recommended gadget for your kitchen!
If you are someone who likes to make soups then this product will interest you. When I found it I couldn't fit many items which were similar so I ended up paying more than what I expected. I felt that aslong as I used it on a regular basis I would get my user out of it. It also looked pretty good aswell so I went ahead and made the purchase.
When I purchased this I ended up paying a little over £115 which does sound pretty expensive. I have had a look around now and I have seen the price stay pretty much the same. I have used it quite frequently however so I would class it as a product worth the price I paid.
How to use
The soup maker is actually very easy to use, I expected it to take a while ot get used to but it was very easy. You simply press the power button which will start the motor up and leaving it for two minutes. The machine will then bleep at you once the 2 minutes are over and you can then apply the ingredients you want in the soup. You then just put the lid on click stir and let it mix for 2 minutes. Once everything is done it will beep again then you can just liquidise the soup and pour it into a bowl to eat.
Cleaning products like ths are normally a problem, things like blades tend to get things stuck in them. This one however was very easy to clean, it usually takes me around a couple of minutes to give it a good clean which isn't long at all really. Obviously the length it will take you to wash the machine will vary depending on what type of items you have used. I recommend letting it soak a bit just to soften any products that are still in the machine.
Overall as a product I think it is a very good one which I find very useful to use. Even thought he price is a bit expensive I have used it long enough to realise it is worth what I paid for it. If you are not someone that would use it frequently then I would not recommend it because with it being quite expensive you will not get your value out of it. Still though if you have that amoutn of money to spend on a product like this then I would recommend it because it makes things so much easier for the user.
I must confess that I am gadget girl - and I love soups. what better gadget for me to buy than this soup maker? Simply put there is a glass jug with a non stick inner base that slots neatly on to the electrical base. A plastic lids fits snuggly on top with a measuring jug set into the lid which can be removed for easy additions.
So - how does it work? Start the machine off by pressing the power button and select two minutes via the + / _ buttons - then press simmer - adding a few drops of oil / frylight (well I am on a diet!). This starts to heat the machine up. At the end of two minutes the machine will bleep and it is time to add some finely chopped onion - set the timer for a couple of minutes again. when the machine bleeps add the vegetables etc that you want to make a soup out of, some hot stock and select the time you require to cook. Press the "stir" button, put the lid on and leave the machine to do its business.
When the last bleep sounds you can liquidise the soup if you want a smooth version , add the milk or cream if required and then pour and serve. There is the function to re heat the soup / or just to keep it hot if you wish. You can also mix the contents up if you want a soup that is nearly smooth with a few chunks.
My sensible head says that this machine does nothing that a saucepan and a blender cannot do but I am still in the honeymoon phase. After two weeks of usage I am making soups every other evening - just adding chopped veg when I am making dinner. The fact that I can leave the soup to cook without worrying about burnt saucepans makes the whole process so much easier.
Would I suggest that others buy it - well, if you love soups or are on a diet and find them extremely helpful in the weightloss process - then YES. The whole machine is easy to use and easy to clean - generally just a swish round of the glassbowl cleans perfectly.
Short name: Cuisinart SSB1U