Choosing the best soup maker
By Aaron West
If you love homemade soup, but are short on time or energy, a soup maker could be for you.
Soup makers blend and cook food in one go, so you don't have to wash up extra pans, pots and gadgets, or hover over the hob during cooking. Most can make smoothies too, which is handy if you're also partial to a fruity blend.
Watch our quick video guide above, or read on, to find out more about the pros and cons of using a soup maker and the different types you can buy.
- Types of soup maker
- Buying a soup maker: things to consider
- Should you buy a Morphy Richards soup maker?
- Soup makers compared
- Getting the best from your soup maker
Alternatively, skip straight to our soup maker reviews to discover which ones impressed in our independent soup maker tests.
There are two main types of soup maker available: some are dedicated gadgets for soup making, while others are more like traditional blenders with adding cooking functionality - these tend to be more expensive.
- Usually cost between £40 and around £100
- Tend to have only a small gap between minimum and maximum quantities
- Can make smooth and chunky soup, and some can sauté
This kind of soup maker looks a bit like a large kettle or Thermos flask. A heating element in the base cooks the food, and the lid has a long blending blade that reaches into the jug to blitz food to a smooth texture once cooked.
They tend to make soup in around 20-30 minutes, and give you the option of smooth or chunky soup. Most include a cold blending function so you can make smoothies and shakes, too. You can't see inside soup makers while they cook, as they have metal jugs.
- Usually cost £65 or more
- Look like a normal blender but are usually bigger
- More flexible, especially for blending different quantities
These look similar to an ordinary jug blender - and offer the same kind of blending functions - but they can also cook ingredients. Like regular blenders they have transparent jugs, allowing you to see the ingredients cooking and blending. But they tend to be bigger, bulkier and more expensive than both soup makers and ordinary blenders.
Some premium blenders don't have a heating element, instead using the friction heat generated by the blades to heat soup (the Nutribullet Rx works this way), though this usually means you need to blend on high power for seven or eight minutes, which can be pretty noisy.
These are typically high-powered models that aim to cover a range of food-prep jobs from making soup to smoothies, dips and even granola, ice cream and nut butters. Other examples include the Sage The Boss BBL915UK (£300) and the KitchenAid Artisan Power Plus (£650).
Soup makers cost from around £40 up to about £140. Spending more will usually get you a larger or more flexible capacity, and features such as a sauté function, keep-warm setting or pre-cleaning mode.
Capacity: This ranges from 0.8 litres (feeds two-three people) to more than two litres (six-eight people).
Some soup makers have a very small difference between their minimum and maximum capacities, which can limit your options if you only want one portion, or want to make a big batch, so it's worth checking this before you buy - see the specs section of our soup maker reviews for the min / max capacity of each model.
Sauté feature: Some soup makers allow you to lightly fry your meat or vegetables before cooking. We found that this can make a real difference to the flavour of your soup.
Sautéing ingredients before cooking can really improve the flavour of your soup.
Blending options: Most soup makers can make smooth or chunky soup, but some also include a medium-texture setting for extra flexibility. You can also manually blend ingredients, so if you find your soup is overly chunky, you can give it another whizz.
Most models also include a smoothie setting, for cold blending, and some even have ones for nut milk, jams and purées.
Cooking time: Some soup blenders can whip up hot soup from scratch in around eight minutes. However, this is noisy as you have to blend on full power for the whole time. Most soup makers cook ingredients first, which takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
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, pre-cleaning programs, and non-stick coatings to make it easier. Our soup maker reviews reveal which models are easiest to clean.
Size: Some soup makers now come in a smaller size - like the Morphy Richards Compact Soup Maker, designed for kitchens where space is at a premium. But the mini design of these soup makers means they can only make up to around a litre of soup at a time - enough for three small bowls or two large bowls of soup.
Morphy Richards kicked off the soup maker trend and has one of the largest ranges around. A couple of its most recent models, the Morphy Richards Total Control and the Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup maker 501014, have a sauté feature, meaning you can sear meat, spices and vegetables before cooking - or even toast croutons. If you aren't fussed about sautéing, the Morphy Richards 501013 is identical to the 501014, minus the sauté function, and is around £10 cheaper.
Older models, such as the Morphy Richards 48822 soup maker, are still around online - the main difference on newer models is the redesigned lid and handle. Morphy Richards says that the newer angled display makes it easier to select blending programmes. You can see how the various models stack up against each other by checking our Morphy Richards soup maker reviews.
If you're in the market for a soup maker, Morphy Richards isn't your only option. We've tried out all the most popular models, including the Tefal My Daily Soup and cheaper rivals from brands such as Salter.
See a quick summary of how the key models measure up on specs, including capacity, price and features, below. Alternatively, head straight to the best soup makers to see the models we recommend.
Morphy Richards Total Control, £89
- Capacity: 0.9-1.7 litres
- Features: smooth, medium and chunky soup, sauté function, five temperature settings, blend, pre-clean, reheat and keep-warm, recipes included.
This premium soup maker offers extra functionality over cheaper Morphy Richards models, and allows you to make a broader range of portion sizes, including enough soup for two. You can also make a medium-textured soup if smooth or chunky don't fit the bill.
See the full Morphy Richards Total Control soup maker review.
Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup 501014, £65
- Capacity: 1.4-1.7 litres
- Features: sauté, smooth and chunky soup, smoothies, blend, pause function, recipes included
This is Morphy Richard's classic soup maker. It can sauté, cook and blend ingredients to make a variety of soup and smoothie recipes.
Read the full Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup review to get our verdict.
Morphy Richards Compact Soup Maker 501021, £40
- Capacity: 0.8-1.0 litres
- Features: smooth and chunky soup, smoothies, compact design, recipes included
This model is smaller than standard Morphy Richards soup makers, which should make it better suited to those who want to make smaller portions or don't have the counter or cupboard space to fit a full-sized model.
See our full Morphy Richards Compact Soup Maker review to find out if it still makes great soup.
Tefal My Daily Soup Blender BL542840, £45
- Capacity: 1.0-1.2 litres
- Features: smooth and chunky soup, smoothies, self-cleaning function, recipes included
This soup maker lacks some of the extra features more expensive models have, such as a sauté function or keep-warm setting, opting for simplicity instead.
Read the full Tefal My Daily Soup Blender review to find out if it gets the basics right and makes great soup.
Salter Electric Soup Maker, £50
- Capacity: 1.3-1.65 litres
- Features: smooth and chunky soup, blend, measuring jug, safety cut-out sensor, recipes included
This cheap 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 feature 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.
Cuisinart Soup Maker Plus SSB3U, £100
- Capacity: 1.4 litres for soup, 1.75 litres for cold liquids. No minimum capacity.
- Features: sauté, smoothies, ice-crushing, stir function, dishwasher-safe glass jug, recipes included
The Cuisinart SSB3U is the third iteration of the popular Cuisinart soup blender. It can be used for soups and dishes such as risotto, as well as hot and cold sauces. It has a glass jug and non-stick heating plate to help with cleaning.
Find out what we thought of this version in the Cusinart Soup Maker Plus SSB3U review.
Some friction-heating blenders include travel lids for converting the blending cup into a drinking mug. This lets you take your smoothie or soup safely to work or out and about.
Nutribullet Rx, £128
- Capacity - 1.3 litres (jug)
- Features - smoothies, ice-crushing, soup-making, additional one and two-portion blending cups, travel lids for taking on-the-go, recipes included.
This Nutribullet blender claims to make hot soup from raw veg in just seven minutes using the friction of the blades to generate heat. It only makes smooth soup, but does include handy travel cups for transporting your soup or smoothie easily, and a wide range of recipes to try.
To find out what we thought of its quick soups, read the full Nutribullet Rx review.
Vitamix S30, £200
- Capacity - 0.6 litres (blending cup), 1.2 litres (blending jug)
- Features - Variable controls, vented lid, soup-making, smoothies, ice-crushing, insulated portable blending/drinking cup, recipes included.
Just like the Nutribullet Rx, the Vitamix S30 personal blender uses the friction made by its fast spinning blades to heat soup. It also has insulated travel cups to keep your soup warm or your smoothies cold as you travel.
Find out whether its worth investing in by reading our Vitamix S30 blender review.
These handy tips should help you make great soup every time:
1. Chop ingredients evenly: smaller chunks will help your soup to cook more quickly and evenly.
2. Add water first: this can help prevent food sticking to the bottom and burning during cooking.
3. Try adding veg high in vitamin B and C at the end: this is because these vitamins are heat-sensitive, so can be lost if you cook vegetables that contain these (such as peppers, broccoli, spinach or peas) for too long. Some soup makers have a pause button that can help with this, but these are more common on soup-making blenders.
4. Use lentils to thicken up your soup: these are cheap, and an excellent source of protein and fibre.
5. There's nothing wrong with using a little oil: sautéing onions or garlic in oil at the beginning doesn’t add a lot of fat to your soup, but can help pack in more flavour.
For our top picks for quick and easy soup making, check our round up of recommended Best Buy soup makers.