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Choosing the best soup maker

By Zoe Galloway

We explain how to pick the right soup maker for you, plus see our reviews of popular models from Morphy Richards, Tefal, Salter and more. 

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If you love creating your own soups, but are fed up of spending half your weekend cooking and washing up in the process, a soup maker could be ideal. 

Soup makers can help you whip up homemade soups with fewer pots, pans and gadgets. Most can make smoothies too - ideal if you're turning to blending up your five-a-day in 2017. 

Read on to find out the pros and cons of using a soup maker, the different types you can buy and to see reviews of popular models from Morphy Richards, Cuisinart and Tefal. Alternatively you can skip straight to our blender reviews and use the filters to find your ideal soup maker.

Why buy a soup maker?

Soup makers blend and cook your soup in one machine. This makes for a quick and easy-to-use appliance that you don't have to supervise during cooking, as well as saving you time on the washing up.

This is an advantage over other soup making methods, such as using a conventional blender - or even a food processor.

However, it does mean one more gadget vying for space on your kitchen worktop, so it's worth doing your research to decide what soup maker is best.

How much do I need to spend on a soup maker?

Most dedicated soup makers cost around £40-£80, and you shouldn't need to spend more than this to get good results.

Pricier models are usually soup blenders which have more advanced blending functions, such as the Nutribullet Rx (£199). If you are keen on having an all-in-one soup maker as well as making smoothies, dips and purées, or even blitzing up granola and nut butters, you may be better off with a soup-making blender.

Types of soup maker

There are two main types of soup maker available, and price isn't the only difference between them. Below, we explain more about their benefits and drawbacks to help you choose.

Soup-making blender

This looks similar to an ordinary blender but can also heat ingredients, either during blending (using heat generated by the blades spinning), or via a heating plate in the base. Some soup blenders can also sauté ingredients before cooking and blending. 

Soup blenders usually have transparent jugs, making it easy to see your ingredients during blending, but they can be a bit more bulky. Models which use the heat generated by the blades spinning to cook your soup, such as the Nutribullet Rx, need to blend on high power for 6-7 minutes to generate enough heat - which can be very noisy.

Prices start from around £40, with budget-friendly brands, such as Andrew James and Tower, offering soup blenders at this price point. Premium brands, such as Cuisinart and Nutribullet, sell soup blenders which cost between £100-200.

Soup maker

A soup maker looks a bit like a kettle or thermos. The blending blades reach into the jug from the lid, while a heating element in the base heats the soup. They tend to make soup in around 20-25 minutes, and give you the option of smooth or chunky soup. Most include a smoothie function for cold drinks, and some also have a purée feature. They are pretty easy to clean, although you can't see into the jug during cooking.

Soup makers are a cheaper option than soup blenders on the whole, and you should be able to pick one up for less than £60 (even pricier ones, such as the Morphy Richards soup makers, can often be found on offer).

Buying a soup maker: things to consider

Before you buy a soup maker, it's worth thinking about the following features and how important they are to you.

Capacity: This can range from just 0.8 litres to over 2 litres, the difference between feeding one and feeding a family of four - so make sure you go for a model that can cater to your needs.

Sauté feature: Some soup makers allow you to lightly fry your meat or vegetables in the blender before cooking. This helps to add flavour for a tastier soup.

Blending options: Some soup makers allow you to make either smooth or chunky soup, as well as making smoothies and even crushing ice. So if you want more variety, pick a model that has different blend settings.

Time: Some soup blenders can whip up hot soup from scratch in around seven minutes. However, this is a noisy method which involves blending on full power for the whole time. Other soup makers cook the ingredients first, which takes longer, but is less of an assault on your eardrums. 

Cleaning: If you want to make soup quickly, don't forget to factor in clean-up time. It's no use making speedy soup and then spending ages clearing up. Look for soup blenders with dishwasher-proof parts or soup makers with non-stick coatings to make cleaning easier. 

Should you buy the Morphy Richards soup maker?

Morphy Richards pioneered the dedicated soup maker, and its soup makers continue to be very popular. One of the latest models- the Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup maker 501014 - has a sauté feature, meaning you can sear meat, spices and vegetables before cooking - or even toast croutons. The Morphy Richards 501013 is identical, minus the sauté function, and is £10 cheaper.

Older models, such as the Morphy Richards 48822 soup maker, still sell well - the main difference on newer models is the redesigned lid and handle. Morphy Richards says the angled display makes it easier to select blending programmes.

There are lots of alternative soup makers available, though. We've tried out the Morphy Richards soup maker and cheaper rivals like the Tefal EasySoup, which has similar features. 

Below you can see our individual soup maker reviews - including the key specs such as capacity, price and time to cook soup - so that you can compare soup makers to find the right one.

Soup maker reviews

We've tried out the most popular soup makers to see which ones are a fuss-free route to quick and easy soup making at home. See how they compare below, and then go to our full reviews to find out more.

Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup 501014, £55*

  • Capacity - 1.6 litres (approx four servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 25 minutes
  • Features - sauté, smooth and chunky soup, smoothies, blend, pause function, non-stick coating, recipes included

This soup maker can sauté, cook and blend ingredients to make a variety of soup and smoothie recipes. It will make smooth or chunky soup, and being able to sauté food, such as onions or meat, prior to cooking should result in tastier soups. It cooks relatively quickly and with little effort, as the preprogrammed settings mean you can leave it to work while you get on with other things.

Read the full Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup review.

Tefal BL841140 Easy Soup, £66

  • Capacity - 1.2 litres (approx three servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 24 minutes
  • Features - smooth and chunky soup, smoothies, compote, self-cleaning function, keep warm setting, recipes included

The Easy Soup has four functions: chunky, smooth, compote and blend, meaning it can be used to make soups, smoothies and desserts. There’s even a keep-warm function to make sure your soup’s kept hot for 40 minutes once cooked. We thought this Tefal was fast, and made good-quality soups and smoothies.

Find out more in the Tefal Easy Soup review.

Salter Electric Soup Maker, £35

  • Capacity - 1.6 litres (approx four servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 20-30 minutes
  • Features - smooth and chunky soup, blend, measuring jug, safety cut-out sensor, recipes included

This soup maker lets you choose between a smooth or a chunky soup, but there’s no sauté function – so if you need to cook and brown some ingredients, you’ll need to do this separately. It has a helpful function of pausing if you remove the lid during soup-making, and picking up where it left off when you replace the lid – handy if you’ve forgotten to add an ingredient or two.

Get the full lowdown in our Salter Electric soup maker review.

Morphy Richards Soup & Milk Maker 501000, £89

  • Capacity - 1.6 litres (approx four servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 25 minutes
  • Features - smooth and chunky soup, soya milk setting, smoothies, nut milks and shakes, non-stick coating, recipes included

The soya milk setting on this Morphy Richards is a plus if you need lots of dairy free drinks, especially as it can blend other nut milks too. It’s easy to use and produces smooth or chunky soup but ingredients that need long cooking times, like lentils, will need to be pre-cooked.  This Morphy Richards doesn’t have a sauté function but it does blend to make shakes and smoothies.

Is this the soup maker for you? Find out in our full Morphy Richards Soup & Milk Maker 501000 review.

Lakeland Touchscreen Soup Maker, £125

  • Capacity - 1.4 litres (approx four servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 30 minutes
  • Features - smooth and chunky soup, sauces, ice-crushing, smoothies, auto-clean, customised cycles, glass jug, recipes included

The Lakeland Touchscreen Soup Maker feels well made, has a simple and easy design but it is heavy and bulky to use. We found it made some fantastic soups whilst the sauce function produced a bit of a mess.

To discover what we thought of this soup maker, head to the full Lakeland Touchscreen Soup Maker review

Cuisinart SSB1U soup maker, £123

  • Capacity - 1.75 litres (approx four servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 20 minutes
  • Features - sauté, smoothies, ice-crushing, stir function, dishwasher-safe jug, recipes included

The Cuisinart SSB1U soup-making blender has a non-stick cooking plate in the base, so it can sauté before simmering and then blending your soup. We thought it made excellent soup, and the gentle stirring function was a useful addition.

Is it as easy to clean up afterwards? Find out with the full Cuisinart SSB1U review. You can also see what we thought of the Cuisinart Soup Maker Plus.

Nutribullet Rx, £169

  • Capacity - 1.3 litres (approx three servings)
  • Average time to cook soup - 7 minutes
  • Features - smoothies, ice-crushing, two additional blending/drinking cups, travel lids for taking on-the-go, recipes included.

This Nutribullet blender claims it can make hot soup from raw veg in just seven minutes, making light work of tough ingredients. It comes with a range of 'clean eating'-inspired soup recipes, called SouperBlasts. There is no pulse button though, so it only makes smooth soup, but it does include handy travel cups for transporting your soup or smoothie easily.

To find out what we thought of its quick soups, read the full Nutribullet Rx review.

*prices correct as of December 2016.

Soup to go: travel mugs

If you're keen to take soup on-the-go, it's worth looking at our mini blender reviews. These personal blenders usually include travel lids for converting the blending cup into a drinking mug and transporting your smoothie or soup safely to work or when you're out and about.

The Vitamix S30 personal blender even has insulated travel cups. Find out whether its worth investing in by reading our Vitamix S30 blender review.

Getting the best out of your soup maker

It's worth reading the instructions carefully before using your soup maker, to avoid a burnt mess. But these two handy tips should help you to make great soup every time:

Chop ingredients evenly - smaller chunks will help your soup to cook more quickly.

Add water first - this can help prevent food sticking to the bottom and burning during cooking.

Soup maker recipes

Here are some classic recipes to get you started with your soup maker.

Tomato soup

  • 1 carton of passata
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree

Method - add all the ingredients to your soup maker and select the ‘smooth’ setting. If it isn’t smooth enough you can choose the smoothie or blend setting instead to finish it off.

Winter vegetable soup

  • 150g sliced red onions
  • 150g chopped leeks
  • 100g sliced carrots
  • 100g chopped swede
  • 200g of washed baby potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 800ml boiling water or stock

Method - sauté your onions and leeks for a few minutes until soft and then add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir well and select your preferred setting. If you prefer chunky soup, make sure your vegetables are chopped into small pieces and peel the baby potatoes first.

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