Healthy Homemade Soups Made Easy - A Review of the Cuisinart Soup Maker & Blender
Do you make homemade soup?
Homemade soups are a wonderful way to eat healthier and increase the nutrition in your diet. I've always enjoyed eating soup made from scratch, but have often felt it was too much work to make my own.
In particular, I love creamy soups, but rarely made them. I just found the whole process a little intimidating and hated cleaning up the pots and pans and hand blender afterward.
However, that all changed when I discovered the Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soup & Beverage Maker. Since bringing this product home, I have made many wholesome and delicious homemade soups, including broccoli and potato, vegetable, cauliflower, carrot, and butternut squash soup. Believe it or not, I've made all of those soups in the last month alone!
Competing in the Cuisinart Soup Challenge
I attended a blogger conference earlier this year, called Blissdom Canada. As part of the conference, bloggers were able to choose from a variety of excursions to attend on the final day of the conference. I was lucky enough to get in to the Ultimate Foodie Excursion, hosted by Lucy Waverman. After having a wonderful breakfast at Caplinsky's Deli in Toronto and a guided tour of Kensington Market, we proceeded to Longo's Food Market at Maple Leaf Square to compete in a soup making challenge sponsored by Cuisinart.
We were divided into five teams of three, and given 15 minutes and $20 to shop for ingredients to make a soup in the Cuisinart Blend & Cook Soup Maker and Blender. Our soups would then be judged by a team of three judges - a representative from Cuisinart, Lucy Waverman and her mom, well known food writer and editor Lucy Waverman.
Having never used the appliance before, and not having time to read the instruction book prior to starting out on the challenge, we were all a little nervous about how our soups would turn out. We were told that we would add our ingredients into the blender, cook them and then blend them into a creamy soup. I'm not sure how long we had for the challenge, but I believe it was all completed within an hour, including the time required to chop the vegetables.
My team decided to make a soup with the following ingredients: organic carrots, parsnips, pear, fresh ginger, onions, garlic, organic chicken stock, sea salt, and pepper. We added a bit of sour cream right right at the end to make it thick and creamy. At one point we were worried our vegetables would not cook fast enough, but the soup turned out delicious in the end. Actually, all of the soups did. They all used very different ingredients, but every one turned out very fresh tasting and flavourful.
After the judges deliberated for awhile after tasting the soups, our team was thrilled to have tied for first place. We were all even more excited when we found out our prize was our very own Cuisinart Soup Maker & Beverage Makers! Having experienced first hand how easy and fun it was to make delicious soup from scratch with this blender, I couldn't wait to bring mine home.
Making our soup for the challenge
Recipes for the Cuisinart Cook and Blend Soup Maker
The Cuisinart Soup & Beverage Maker comes with a useful recipe booklet. It contains recipe tips and a variety of recipes to get you started using your new kitchen appliance. While so far I have primarily used mine to make soups, you can make a lot of other types of foods with this handy device.
One of the recipes included in the booklet is a recipe for Light Broccoli and Potato Soup. This was one of the first recipes I tried when I brought the soup maker home, and I was very pleased with the results. It resulted in a creamy soup, without using any cream or milk products.
I made the recipe almost exactly as written, however I adjusted the quantity of broccoli and potato to what I had on hand. I also omitted the 2 tablespoons of sherry that was called for in the original recipe, since I didn't have any.
Making Light Broccoli and Potato Soup
Ingredients for Light Broccoli and Potato Soup
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable broth (you could also use chicken broth)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 small onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 head broccoli, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) lemon zest
- 2 ounces (60 g) Cheddar, shredded
- Put the broth, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, potatoes and broccoli into the blender jar. Cover and set timer for 10 minutes and temperature on High.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, or the time expires, stir to mix for about 15 seconds. Set timer for 30 minutes and temperature on Medium, stirring occasionally during the cooking process.
- Once time expires, add lemon zest and Cheddar, and blend on speed 1, gradually raising to speed 3 for 3 minutes, or until completely smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Optional: Garnish with additional grated cheddar cheese. Makes about 4 cups (1 L).
Nutritional Information for Light Broccoli & Potato Soup
|Serving size: 1 cup (250 ml)|
|Calories from Fat||63|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 7 g||11%|
|Saturated fat 3 g||15%|
|Carbohydrates 17 g||6%|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 7 g||14%|
|Cholesterol 15 mg||5%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
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Cook and blend delicious soups and sauces, chop ice and make smoothies and frozen drinks in this powerful blender from Cuisinart.
Much more than a soup maker
The recipes included in the booklet are:
- Fresh Fruit Smoothie
- Classic Frozen Margarita
- Frozen Mudslide
- Hot Chocolate
Breakfast and Brunch:
- Apple Filling for Crepes
- Crepe Batter
- Blueberry Sauce
- Warm Peach Compote
- Roasted Vegetable Spread
- Chilled Borscht
- Carrot and Ginger Soup
- Lentil Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Tomato Soup
- Light Broccoli and Potato Soup
- Curried Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup
- Spinach Dal
Dressings and Sauces:
- Basic Vinaigrette
- Walnut Parsley Pesto
- Light Marinara Sauce
- Romesco Sauce
- Chocolate Banana Creme Brûlée
- Cinnamon-Maple Applesauce
- Mascarpone-Honey Pana Cotta
- Creme Anglaise
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse
I haven't tried any of the dessert recipes yet, but I think I will have to try the Chocolate Banana Creme Brûlée recipe soon!
What I Like About the Cuisinart Soup Maker
There's a lot of things that I love about this product. While the blender itself is very powerful, the main appeal to me is the ability to cook and blend ingredients all in one container. The soup maker has been a very welcome addition to my kitchen, and has inspired me to make homemade soups much more often. I've also used it to make marinara sauce and vegetable purees to sneak into other foods.
- Fast and simple way to make healthy homemade soups and sauces.
- Since everything is cooked and blended in the blender, cleanup is a breeze.
- The blender is very powerful and versatile. You can use it to chop ice or nuts, make iced drinks and smoothies, cook soups, make sauces and desserts and more.
- The blender is easy to clean.
- The recipes in the recipe book are healthy and easy to make.
- Large size allows you to make big batches of soup.
- It works well with batch cooking and making meals for the freezer.
- If you want to make soup for an appetizer for a dinner party or family meal, you don't need to use valuable space on your stove to cook it.
- You can keep soup warm in the blender until you're ready to serve it.
What I Don't Like
So far, I don't really have many complaints about this product. The only things I think I should point out are the size and a note about the timer.
- The timer can only be set for up to 30 minutes at a time. When time runs out, the machine automatically shuts off. Sometimes soups need to cook longer than 30 minutes, so you need to be paying attention and remember to add the additional time, or you'll discover that your soup has stopped cooking. Being able to program it for longer than 30 minutes would be handy.
- This blender is quite large, so you may have trouble finding space to store it in your kitchen cupboards.
Overall, I'm definitely pleased with the Cuisinart Blend & Cook Soup and Beverage Maker. I'm sure I will continue to use it to make healthy vegetable soups, and I plan to try some of the other recipes included in the recipe booket. I woud definitely recommend this product to anyone wanting an easy way to make homemade creamy soups.
My Overall Impression
Cuisinart Soup Maker Poll
Do you think you would enjoy making soup with the Cuisinart Soup Maker?
© 2012 Kathy Sima