Confused about whether to get a soup maker or a blender? While these two appliances may look a little bit similar, they are quite different. If you read through this review, you’d see the differences between both appliances. Take note of the main points.
WHAT IS A SOUP MAKER
A machine where you can just put in all the ingredients, it’s cooked into a soup, wow! You get to choose whether you want the soup to be blended or chunky, and it also keeps the soup warm.
It is like a kettle that cooks your soup ingredients. The fitted lid comes with a blade that is helpful to blend the soup into a creamy texture (if needed). The body of the soupmaker is like a thermos that will keep the soup warm for 40 minutes. The detachable cord helps take the elegant-looking kettle to the table and pour it straight out of it, as it has a convenient spout.
The panel comes with a start/stop button and a function selecting the button. Each time you press the button, it moves on to the next function and once your desired function is selected, all you do is press the start button and allow the soupmaker to go about its business
What Is A Blender?
An electric kitchen appliance that is used basically to emulsify, liquefy or puree. Although it can be used to chop or slice ingredients, a Blender does not provide consistent results as well as a food processor can for those types of tasks. Similarly, it may be used to grate foods, but this chore is also best handled by a food processor.
A Blender typically consists of a tall glass or plastic food container with a removable lid made with a filler hole for adding ingredients. At the base of the food container, there are motor-driven blades that blend, chop, mix, or liquefy foods depending on the speed setting selected.
When selecting a Blender, consider the type of food container desired, since glass is less likely than plastic to retain the aroma of various foods. The size of the container is also important, so it should be large enough to hold common contents for the foods most often blended and the number of people most often served.
Things to consider when buying a soup maker
Think about how many people you’re likely to be serving. Generally speaking, 400ml is one portion of soup. All of the models on our list have a maximum capacity of 1.6L or above, which will make enough soup for four people.
Most models come with functions for both smooth and chunky soups. The soup maker will cook the ingredients first, then either blend until smooth or leave as chunky. Other pre-programmed settings to look out for include:
Jam: This setting will cook and reduce the sugar and fruit to make textured fruit jam.
Sauce: For sweet and savory sauces, such as a bechamel or chocolate sauce.
Smoothie: Use fresh or frozen ingredients for thick smoothies.
Frozen drinks: This setting will crush ice and frozen fruit for slushy drinks.
Dessert: Use frozen fruits to make sorbets and ice creams.
Milkshake: Blend milk with powder or fresh fruits for a refreshing milkshake.
Ice: Crush ice for cocktails or other drinks.
Steam: Models with this set come with a basket that fits into the bowl. Fill it partway with water to produce steam for cooking vegetables, fish, or potatoes.
Sous vide: Water will be heated and maintained at a controlled temperature so that fish or meat can be cooked consistently.
- Cooking time
Speed isn’t always best. A few fast soup makers left us with some raw fresh ingredients at the end of a program. Generally, it will take half an hour or more to cook ingredients thoroughly. If making chunky soup, cut ingredients into 1cm cubes to make sure they cook through.
Some soup makers will have a dedicated cleaning program. Simply add water and a few drops of washing-up liquid and it’ll heat and mix the solution to clean the inside of the jug. However, this may not remove burned-on food. We also recommend wiping the inside of the jug with a warm soapy cloth but keep your fingers clear of the blades.
Benefits Of Using A Soup Maker
Compared to a mini-oven, microwave, induction hob, slow cooker, or even a halogen oven, a soup maker may seem like a non-essential kitchen appliance to some, but owning this clever cooking helper comes with a wealth of benefits. In fact, many people find that once they buy a soup maker, they use it so frequently they cannot imagine how they ever lived without it!
In this section, we take a look at some of the main benefits of using a soup maker in your day-to-day life:
- Good For Your Health
Perhaps the main benefit of using a soup maker is the ability to quickly create warming, healthy meals from scratch with little fuss in just a few minutes.
Even though the soup is usually associated with the winter months, this nutritious dish can be enjoyed all year round. Eating soup is a great way to boost your health; it enables you to easily consume many wholesome vegetables and the nutrients they contain without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
Furthermore, blending vegetables increases the rate of nutrient absorption, so you can better enjoy all the health benefits of your chosen ingredients.
Because vegetable soup made in a soup maker retains all the liquids that the ingredients were cooked in, it has a higher nutritional density than other methods of cooking. When you boil some vegetables and drain the water away, you, in fact, end up pouring many of the nutrients down the sink, thus missing out on their benefits.
But, are soup makers any good for weight loss? The answer is yes!
As well as being a great source of nutrition, eating soup has been clinically proven to encourage weight loss by helping you feel fuller for longer.
- A Multifunctional Kitchen Appliance
Usually, if you want to make some homemade soup, there are a number of steps you’ll need to go through.
Firstly, you’ll have to saute and cook your ingredients in the pan until softened. Then you must transfer them to a blender or food processor, before returning the mixture to a pan to reheat before serving.
Clearly, this involves multiple pans and appliances, all of which need to be taken out of the cupboard, cleaned, and put away again when you’re done. Soup makers offer you a much simpler way of doing things, by enabling you to do all of the above with just one appliance.
Furthermore, a great thing about soup makers is that they can often make much more than soup. You can buy a model that will have special settings to make juices, smoothies, compotes, sauces and can even crush ice for summer cocktails.
- Convenient to Use and Easy to Clean
A further benefit of having a soup maker is how quick and convenient they are to use.
With many models, all you need to do is chop up your ingredients, throw them into the jug, add some liquid and press a button. Then you can simply carry on with whatever you’re doing until your delicious, hot soup is ready within 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
This convenience is especially useful if you have a busy schedule but want to eat healthier meals. Because soup makers are so quick and easy to use, you could make some fresh soup in the morning while you get ready, and then take it to work with you for lunch.
If you hate having to think about what you are going to eat when you get home every evening, you can also use your soup maker for batch cooking. To do this, simply blend a large quantity of soup and then freeze portions so that you have easy meals ready any night of the week.
What’s the difference between a soup maker and a blender?
While some soup makers may resemble blenders, others look a bit more like a kettle. A soup maker is essentially a blender with a heating element in its base.
There are two main types of soup makers: models that look like a traditional blender and models that have a blade suspended from their lid. Both types perform well but the former offers more versatility, as you can use it as a blender too.
Soup makers can blend ingredients into a smooth or chunky soup, as well as cook them, However, blenders do not have the cooking feature. There’s no need for multiple pots and pans when using soup makers, making them a helpful, space-saving option. Most models can blend cold foods, too.
Soup makers have a heating element so they can cook soup in around 20 to 30 minutes. Soup makers work differently from blenders, they make soup using the friction of the spinning blades to heat the soup while blending.
Soup makers with a heating element may also allow you to sauté food, such as onions or meat, before adding the rest of your ingredients. You can then set the time and temperature (or use a preset program) and get on with something else. Some will require meat to be cooked beforehand so there may still be some preparation involved. During or after cooking, the maker will blend it to the required consistency.
As blending hot liquids produces steam and can be potentially hazardous, this final step is the reason why soup-making capacity is less than that for blending cold liquids. Your soup maker should have a vented lid or one that locks into place for this reason.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to cook up tasty, healthy vegetarian and vegan soups for you and your family without the fuss, a soup maker would definitely be a welcome addition to your range of kitchen appliances.