We've enlisted a CHOICE member to test three soup makers.
Homemade soups are a winter favourite, and having a warm and healthy meal on the table in as little time as possible is always welcome.
So we sent CHOICE member, Winsome Hall, three soup makers from Cuisinart, Morphy Richards and Tefal and asked her to give us feedback on:
- ease of use
- controls, and
We also asked:
- How often would she use the soup maker?
- Would she buy one?
Cuisinart Hot & Cold Blender SSB-1A
First up was Cuisinart’s Hot & Cold Blender. Winsome was impressed with how the clear instructions made using this product very easy, but thought they should have mentioned not to immerse the jug in water. It isn’t a standard blender jug, although it looks and feels like one.
She also said that “the controls are very straightforward and make it easy to control the temperature and length of cooking”.
However, with the recipe Winsome was following, she had to allow for twice the recommended cooking time, and the beep signalling the end of cooking was extremely loud and annoying. She also felt this product is best suited to smooth-textured soups and wouldn’t use it for chunky soups such as minestrone.
Morphy Richards Soup Maker 48821
Next in line was the Morphy Richards Soup Maker. The straightforward instructions and clearly labelled controls made this product easy to use, and the flat, easy-push buttons are easy to clean, as is the blade, which is housed in the lid. But that’s where the praises stop. Winsome found the product to be heavy and the lack of temperature control a problem.
“There was no gentle cooking as promised, just boiling hard so that the ingredients caught on the bottom of the jug,” she said. “I transferred the ingredients to a saucepan so the heat could be controlled.” She also felt that the blender only commenced at the end of cooking and claimed “the mixing blades only appeared to work when I pushed the blender control”. To top things off, Winsome felt the recipe that was provided was a little hit and miss, and she ended up with an “extremely thick soup rather than a broth”.
Tefal Soup and Co BL900
The Tefal Soup and Co was the final product Winsome put through its paces. She said the instructions made it easy to use, and the digital timer panel is reasonably legible. She also felt the recipe was well laid out and appropriate to this soup maker.
“The blender jug can make 1.8L – sufficient for a family of four – and the heater control ensured the soup contents did not burn. Success!” However, there was one hiccup. Because Winsome had cooked the soup a few hours before it was being served, when she wanted to reheat the soup, “it was not obvious how to do this and I ended up reheating it in a saucepan”. On the whole, the blades were easy to rinse and the raised buttons were simple to wipe around, and with the exception of the reheating issue, “this product worked well and did everything it promised”.
Of the three soup makers Winsome tested, the Morphy Richards was her least favourite. Its 1L capacity made it unsuitable when catering to a family and she felt it would be better suited to a single-person household.
The other two fared slightly better, and Winsome said she’d consider buying the Cuisinart or Tefal, but only because she doesn’t currently own a standard jug blender and there’s only so much you can use a stick blender for.
For more information about kitchen appliances, see Kitchen.