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Making Soup the Easy Way - Cuisinart Soup Maker
Cuisinart Soup Maker
I was lucky enough to win the Cuisinart Soup Maker during a competition on Twitter. To be honest I never would have actively bought a soup maker, even though I love making soup, as I simply use a stock pot and hand blander, which do the job. But that being said I do love my kitchen gadgets, and if someone if going to give me one then I shant turn it down. So I was actually really excited when I won this little baby.
The Cuisinart Soup Maker is an all in one soup processor, from cooking base ingredients and meats, to boiling, simmering and eventually blending the whole soup batch (if you want to blend it!) Plus it's not just for soups - you can use it to make sauces, dips and anything else that may requiring heating and mixing really. It'll even crush ice - 'Daquiri anyone?'. It can take as little as 20 minutes to make a beautiful soup from start to finish. It even comes with a handy little cook book to help get you started, although I'm a 'make-it-up-as-you-go-along' kinda girl.
I have had time to try out a few of my own recipes on it, as well as some of their suggestions, so figured it was about time for a review. Here is what I think of the Cuisinart Soup Maker!
What I think of the Cuisinart Soup Maker
H: 410 mm W: 220 mm D: 200 mm
1.4L for soup and hot liquid, 1.75L for cool liquids
Apperance and Build Quality
The Cuisinart soup maker is quite a big piece of kitchen equipment (see dimensions above) It isn't too wide or deep on the base, so won't take a lot of physical room on your work surface but it is very tall. Althoutgh as the jug detaches it could be stored in 2 pieces to reduce the hight. It is definietly an eye drawing piece for any kitchen as it looks quite impressive.
The look itself is very sleek and quite modern. The base is all brushed black, with a small digital screen and silver dial. The hot plate part is silver and black also, as is the lid and bottom of jug. It would fit in nicely with most kitchen décor. At the moment it doesn't come in any other colours, so black is your only option.
So far in my opinion the build quality is great. It seems very sturdy on the base (very heavy, but that means no threat of toppling or tipping when blending). Everything looks very well made (as far as I can tell). The glass jar is great - I found most other cheaper blenders are plastic and I worry about them cracking - this is really robust so I have no worries at the moment. Plus the thick glass of the jug means it keeps the soup warm as well, incase you go back for seconds. The blades are small stainless steel ones so can pretty much cut through anything, although I obviously am yet to know how long they will stay sharp for (or how I would go about replacing if they did dull down a bit). The lid has a great triple seal to keep everything in, although I am a little unhappy that the removeable cup in the lid doesn't lock into place a little better, but it doesn't seem to affect the cooking or anything (just a personal thing). Lastly the cables are all well insulated so I shouldn't see them being any problem.
The overall quality of the product does explain why it is quite so expensive (see below for price guide) it really does seem to be a superior build to others on the market - soup makers or blenders.
Easy of use: The machine itself is very easy to use. The jug part simply locks into place without having to twist into any tongue and grove type mechanism like similar products. And the instructions to actually cook soup and plain and simple. This is the general gist of how it works:
- Set your time to start the heating plate, usually between 20-40 depending on your recipe and what you need to sauté.
- The heating plate heats up super quick and you simply need to add a little butter or oil. After only 30seconds you can add your base ingredients - onions, garlic or meats. You can use the stir button to gently move the ingredients around so they cook thoroughly.
- Then add you stock and veggies and allow to bring to boil - usually around 2 mins.
- Hit the simmer button and leave till the timer runs out - it'll beep to let you know.
- Then you just blend to the consistance you like! With 4 blend powers and a pulse you can either have a chunky soup or a completely smooth one.
- Pour directly from the jug to your bowl. It really is that easy
The lid has a triple seal so no chance of leaks or splashing, and a removable cup if you wish to add things closer to the end or measure in something like cream.
The capacity on it is enough for 4 large bowls or 6 started sized bowls - so it is great for feeding the whole family or making extra to freeze.
My only problem with it, and this is minor, is the weight of the jug. Even when empty the jug is pretty heavy as it is made from heavy duty glass, making it very sturdy and great for holding any heat, but quite heavy on the wrist. When full of hot liquid it can be a little difficult to manouver, but as I say this is minor, because weirdly the glass jug is also one of the plus points for me. So many other blenders have cheap plastic jugs that just don't feel very sturdy, or as if they can take a bit of battering from a heavy duty blend. So the glass jug is a plus and a minus in some ways
Cleaning: Now for me the ease of cleaning a product like this for me is very important. The blades are not detachable which can sometimes make cleaning difficult, as sticking your hand in is a little dangerous, considering how sharp they are. But that being said so far this has been a doddle. I have no idea what a 'self cleaning feature' is, but this supposidly has it! We usually just have to let it soak in hot water for just a few minutes then rinse it out, the only bit I usually have to actually clean is the lip od the jug and the lid.
Now as I said above this is quite an expensive piece of equipment but I do have hopes that it will probably last me many, many years and be something I use often as it's so easy and versatile. So I think if that is the case it will probably be worth the investment of the money. But it really depends on how much use you would get out of it.
For the UK - The RRP for Cuisinart is £140 but I have found it in a few other places between £110-£130, so you could probably get it a little cheaper if you shopped around.
For the US - The RRP is $149, I have found it online ranging between $109-$135. Again you can probably find it cheaper if you shop around.
Some Handy Soup Recipes
- Can be quite heavy
- Fairly expensive
- Very large for storage or on counter in small kitchen
- Cup on lid doesn't lock into place tightly
Pro's and Con's List
- Easy to clean after use
- Sturdy glass jug
- Simple to use
- Fast heating
- No waste as it is all cooked together
- One-pot cooking (always a plus in my books!)
- Versatile - soups, smoothies, sauces etc