Cooks Professional Automatic Electric Soup Maker Machine

cooks-professional-premium-electric-soup-maker-machineIf you’re looking for a soup maker in the mid price range that can blend smoothies and make the process of cooking soup easier and more convenient, the Cooks Professional Premium Automatic Electric Soup Maker Machine may seem like a sensible choice. It does have a few redeeming features, but sadly this soup maker falls short in some crucial areas on closer inspection.

Rating: 3.25

Price: ££

Key Points:

  • large 1.7 litre capacity (4-5 bowls of soup)
  • fairly bulky small appliance: weighs 3 kg
  • makes soup in as little as 25 minutes
  • 800 W heating element with adjustable settings
  • can also be used as a blender to make smoothies or baby food and to grind nuts and coffee beans but doesn’t offer as many functions as competitors
  • ‘keep warm’ and reheat functions
  • unclear instructions in manual
  • difficult to clean, no nonstick surfaces
  • Frequent faults
  • includes recipes

Design and Capacity

In essence, the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker looks like a large blender, and not a very ‘premium’ one at that. The design is nothing particularly special although the solid black base does look smart. Overall, this soup maker lacks some of the style and glossy good looks that some of the other soup makers on the market have managed to display. The transparent jug does allow you to see your soup or smoothie as it cooks and blends, but it doesn’t make for a very attractive appliance.

For those that like to make a big batch of soup, this product can certainly deliver in capacity. The Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker has a sizable 1.7 litre capacity, making it one of the larger soup makers currently available on the market. It can serve a family of 4-5 all from one batch, or cook up soup to be frozen and stored for later.

One important factor to take into consideration is the weight of this soup maker. Unsurprisingly, given its large capacity and size, this is a fairly heavy appliance. It weighs in at 3 kg and can feel rather cumbersome to handle when you’re trying to serve your soup. We’d recommend a smaller, lighter soup maker to customers who may have trouble lifting such a heavy machine on a regular basis.

Multiple Functions

Although making soup may be this product’s primary purpose, it can help you out in the kitchen in other days. You can use the Cooks Professional soup maker to blend up fruit and yoghurt into smoothies, blend food for your baby or grind coffee and nuts. This is a pretty standard feature of most soup makers so shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, particularly if you’ve read our other reviews, but it’s always useful to have an appliance that can be used for several different kitchen tasks in one go.

Unfortunately, unlike some other soup makers, it cannot sauté onions and other ingredients as a base for your soup, so these ingredients do have to be sautéed in your own frying pan before you add them to the soup maker. Given the high price that this product originally retailed at, we were surprised to see that there weren’t more of these useful functions included.

Warming Feature

One handy feature that we were glad to see included on the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker is a ‘keep warm’ and re-heating functions.The machine will keep your soup warm for you for some time, and can re-heat soup that has gone below the temperature you wish to serve it at. If you make your soup and then have a few hours to wait until you want to sit down and eat it, you don’t have to worry about it going cold and needing to be re-heated in the microwave later. This is a very convenient feature that not all soup makers have, so we can give Cooks some credit in this area.

Difficult To Use

While the Cooks Professional Premium machine claims to be simple and straightforward to operate, a lack of straightforward instructions in the manual make it fairly tricky to use for many customers. Clear instructions would make the whole process far more enjoyable and prevent customers from giving up and not getting much use out of their soup maker.

Difficult To Clean

Like many soup maker machines, the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker can be awkward to clean. It cannot be cleaned in the washing machine so you do have to take the time to clean it by hand. The soup maker doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, so you have to rinse it out (not an easy task with such a large, bulky machine) and then carefully clean the inside of the jug with hot water, soap and a brush.

The cleaning process becomes a lot more difficult if you leave food to settle in the jug after making your soup, so we would recommend rinsing it out straight away to make things easier for yourself. You should also use some kind of butter, oil or spray on the base of the jug before putting the rest of your ingredients in to prevent food from burning to the bottom of the machine. When it comes to cleaning, a soup maker with a non-stick interior surface or self-cleaning function is always preferable.

Faulty Motor

Many people who purchased this soup maker have complained that the motor on their unit burned out quickly after just a few uses, leading us to believe that there may be some underlying design fault in the motor that causes it to break down quickly. This is a frustrating occurrence, particularly when there are positive sides to the Cooks soup maker that could make it a useful addition to your kitchen.

When the motor gives out it becomes impossible to use the soup maker for any purpose, forcing many customers to send their unit back and request a full refund. While this may not necessarily happen to every customer who purchases the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker, it is a risk that most people would probably not want to take.

Recipes Included

The Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker doesn’t come with an entire recipe book included as part of the product as some similar appliances do, but there are recipes for soups, smoothies and hot chocolates included in the instruction manual. Unfortunately, many of these recipes list measurements and ingredients designed for large quantities that don’t suit the capacity of the machine, so you do have to adjust the quantities to get the right recipe for your soup maker.

Should You Buy It?

The Cooks Professional Premium Automatic Soup Maker looks promising on first sight, and we had high hopes that this would be a good quality, multifunctional kitchen appliance that would make cooking for your family that little bit easier. Although it does have a few good features and a large capacity, the Cooks soup maker falls flat when it comes to durability and reliability. Fortunately, there are plenty of soup makers at a similar price available that won’t let you down so easily.

Prolectrix Soup Maker

Prolectrix-Soup-MakerThe Prolectrix Soup Maker is a relatively inexpensive kitchen appliance that has the potential to offer a convenient solution to those who love cooking soup at home. Unfortunately, there are several significant shortcomings that make this product not worth purchasing.

Rating: 2

Price: £

Key Points

  • large 1.6 litre capacity; 1.3 litre minimum
  • stylish design, but on the heavy side
  • Limited features and functions: only makes soup
  • lid locks during cooking: you can’t remove it to add further ingredients without stopping the cooking process and having to start it again from the beginning
  • self-cleaning function: just pour in water and soap; includes a cleaning brush to help you maneuver  around those sharp blades
  • detachable jug to pour your soup directly into bowls, with no ladling, but the jug gets very hot to the touch
  • reports of faulty units; company offers full refund

Design and Capacity

The Prolectrix Soup Maker looks similar in style to a kettle. Its silver stainless steel exterior is a refreshing change from the transparent blender design that dominates the soup maker market, and the build quality looks sturdy and strong. The soup maker has a thick handle that makes it simple to lift the jug up when you’re ready to serve your soup: you can pour directly from the jug without needing to ladle your soup out into bowls.

Despite its very reasonable price, the Prolectrix Soup Maker has a good capacity of 1.3-1.6 litres, so it should suit most customers in this sense. You can use the minimum capacity amount if you’re only looking to make soup for one meal, or fill it up to capacity to make four good sized bowls of soup in one easy process.

One important consideration to keep in mind when choosing your soup maker is weight. The Prolectrix Soup Maker is fairly big and bulky, and weighs in at a considerable 2.7 kg, which obviously gets heavier when full of chunky soup. While stronger customers probably won’t be bothered by this issue, it could certainly cause problems for the elderly or those who are ill or weak, many of whom could certainly be in the market for a convenient device that will cook soup for them. If an easy to handle, lightweight soup maker is a priority then we certainly wouldn’t recommend this product.

Limited Functions

Unlike many of the other soup makers on the market, this soup maker is strictly that: a soup maker. Some people buy these appliances purely for the function of making soup at home without having to do all of the cooking themselves, but others prefer a more multi-functional appliance that has the added benefits of making smoothies, sauces, and helping out with other kitchen tasks.

While you could possibly put the limited number of features on this product down to its price, there are other soup makes available in this price range that have a range of other functions available. We’d recommend that you opt for a kitchen appliance that gives you the most amount of convenience for your money; the Prolectrix soup maker sadly does not.

Difficult to Customise

For those looking to make a more complex soup recipe that involves adding ingredients or seasonings in at various stages of the cooking process, the Prolectrix Soup Maker won’t be the best choice.

Once the lid of the jug has been securely closed, you cannot open it back up again to add other ingredients without interrupting the whole cooking process. When you close the lid again and press start, the Prolectrix Soup Maker will start its process from the beginning again, making things very confusing and awkward. There are other soup maker machines available that make it easier to customise the timings and recipes, but this product is limited in that regard.

There have been complaints of burning at the base of the jug. This is a common issue with soup makers and one that is easily avoided by taking the necessary precautions. If you use some butter, oil or cooking spray at the bottom of the jug before placing the rest of your soup ingredients in to cook then you shouldn’t experience any burning.

Simple To Clean

One important strength of this soup maker is its simplicity when it comes to washing up after cooking your soup, an important consideration for many customers. It has a self-cleaning function that allows you to pour some hot water and soap into the machine and then blend, washing away any residue left over from the soup making process.

The inside of the jug can also easily be wiped clean with a sponge and hot water, and Prolectrix have conveniently included a cleaning brush in the box with the soup maker to work around the sharp blades without risking injury.

Recipe Book Included

Nervous chefs who need a little inspiration before they start putting their soup creations together will be glad to hear that Prolectrix has included a recipe book for free with any soup maker purchase. A free recipe book isn’t an absolute necessity, but it’s always a nice addition to help you get started with your new kitchen appliance.

A Word of Caution

Prolectrix-Soup-Maker-4We have one particular safety concern that is important to keep in mind if you do decide to buy the Prolectrix Soup Maker. Just as a stainless steel kettle gets very hot once water has been boiled, this soup maker heats up to a very high temperature as it chops, cooks, boils and blends your soup. Be very careful not to touch the jug once your soup has been cooked. Only touch the handle as you lift the jug or you could risk a nasty burn.

Faults Reported

Our main issue with the Prolectrix Soup Maker is the frequency with which the product seems to break down with no apparent reason or warning. Many customers have used their soup maker once or twice with no problem, only to find that it suddenly doesn’t work after a couple of uses. It’s unclear what the underlying design problem behind these faults is, but frequent problems with a particular product suggests that the build quality may not be up to scratch.

If you do buy the Prolectrix Soup Maker and experience one of these unexpected faults, you will be able to get a full refund from the company. However, re-packaging, posting the machine back and reporting the fault can all be time-consuming, stressful and just plain annoying, so we’d certainly prefer to buy a more reputable soup maker in the first place instead.

Should You Buy It?

With so many other high quality, intuitive soup maker machines currently available at low prices on the market, it is difficult to recommend that any consumer opt for the Prolectrix Soup Maker. The frequent reports of faulty units and sudden breakdowns, as well as the limited number of functions and bulky design of the soup maker–not to mention the risk of burning–all make this one of our lowest rated appliances. Look elsewhere before resorting to this flawed product.

VonShef Jug Soup Maker Machine

VonShef-Jug-Soup-Maker-MachineMany of us would like to improve our health and cook more of our food from scratch rather than buying in pre-made, packaged foods. For those on a tighter budget, kitchen appliances like a soup maker may seem like an extravagant expense. Fortunately, there are products like the VonShef Jug Soup Maker Machine available to make life a little easier. This convenient, good quality appliance can whip up a healthy bowl of soup in just 20 minutes, making it a good value product to add to your kitchen.

Price: £

Rating: 4

Key Points

  •  1.6 litre capacity (4-6 bowls of soup); minimum 1.3 litres
  • cooks soup in 20-30 minutes
  • 2 consistency options: chunky and smooth
  • 800 W motor
  • very versatile: boils water, grinds and heats coffee, blends smoothiescrushes ice
  • some of the instructions aren’t clear
  • not dishwasher safe but fairly easily cleaned by rinsing

Design And Capacity

The glossy silver design of the VonShef Jug Soup Maker will look attractive on any kitchen counter, with a premium style that makes the product look far more expensive than you might expect. This soup maker is more in keeping with the design of a kettle than a blender: some people may prefer the transparent glass soup makers that allow you to see your food as its cooking, but the chrome style of the VonShef has a sleek, stylish look that we prefer.

Despite its surprisingly low price tag, the VonShef Jug Soup Maker has a relatively large capacity at 1.6 litres. That will easily fill up four bowls of soup, enough to feed an average sized family or a very hungry singleton. You can find soup makers on the market with a larger capacity than this, but for those on a slightly tighter budget this is certainly a good size. There is however a minimum 1.3 litre capacity so if you live alone and aren’t willing to freeze soup, you might want to consider other options

Easy To Use

vonshef-jug-soup-maker-machine-3Unlike some other more complicated soup makers, the VonShef Jug is remarkably easy to use. All you have to do is prepare and chop up your vegetables and other ingredients, add stock and seasoning and throw it all into the jug. You can then select your setting, with an option to choose between a smooth or chunky consistency, and press start. Your soup will only take between 20 and 30 minutes to cook and then you’re ready to eat! It really is that simple, so even those who have never used a soup maker or similar appliance before will quickly be able to start making their own delicious home made soups. The VonShef Jug Soup Maker can’t be customised as much as other, more expensive options on the market, but will suit the needs of all but the most experimental or picky amateur soup chefs.

One complaint about this particular soup maker would be a lack of clear instructions: the manual doesn’t give you much information about how much liquid or ingredients to put into the machine to make your soup, so there is some trial and error involved when it comes to getting the ratios right. You may find it helpful to purchase a book of soup maker recipes separately to get some sense of ingredients and measurements, but it would have been helpful if this information had been included clearly in the manual that accompanies the VonShef Jug Soup Maker Machine.

Multiple Functions

One of the real highlights of the VonShef Jug Soup Maker is the wide variety of functions it can carry out with ease. Most people buy soup makers purely for the role of cooking soup without needing to use the job and multiple pots and pans. However, an appliance with multiple uses is always going to be better value for money than a straightforward soup maker.

The Vonshef Jug Soup Maker can eliminate the need for several other kitchen appliances. It can boil water for tea or cookingblend smoothies, cocktails, milkshakes and slushies; and crush ice, so once the weather has warmed up and you’re no longer in the mood for soup you’ll still find plenty of uses for your soup maker. The machine can also grind coffee beans and heat coffee, ideal for your morning rush, and make sauces to accompany other dishes. This really is a versatile and intuitive machine, and would be a handy addition to anyone’s kitchen.

Simple To Clean

Like many soup maker machines, the VonShef Jug cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher and cannot be soaked under hot water, so you do have to rinse it and clean it yourself with soap and a sponge or bottle brush. Some soup makers come with a self-cleaning function, something that would have been very useful to include in the Vonshef, but given the less expensive price tag this is an understandable omission.

For the most part this product is fairly easy to clean, but you do have to rinse it out thoroughly after making your soup to avoid being left with residue that is difficult to clean out properly.

Should You Buy It?

Although there are a few minor issues with the VonShef Jug Soup Maker Machine, it really does do what it says on the tin. It may not have the capacity or power that some of the more expensive soup makers may have to offer, but its lower price and impressive performance will impress many customers. If you’re looking to introduce more soups, juice, smoothies, and sauces into your usual diet without breaking the bank then the VonShef Jug Soup Maker is definitely a sensible choice.

Morphy Richards 501011 Sauté and Soup Soup Maker

morphy-richards-501011-saute-and-soup-soup-makerNot many soup makers can boast complete convenience from start to finish. The Morphy Richards 501011 Sauté and Soup Soup Maker really stands out from the crowd. It sautéschopscooks, blends and boils, producing a good quantity of delicious, hot soup with minimal effort required. The reasonable price and overall impressive build quality of this product makes the Morphy Richards 501011 one of our top picks for soup enthusiasts.

Price: ££

Rating: 4.75

Key Points

  • 1.6 litre capacity (4 bowls of soup)
  • extra sauté function
  • options for chunky and smooth soups
  • produces steaming bowls of soup in under 30 minutes
  • non-stick coating on the jug and lid interior
  • pause function eliminates a flaw of previous generations of Morphy Richards soup makers
  • can also produce smoothies and juices
  • not dishwasher safe but easy to clean regardless
  • manual includes free recipes
  • Attractive and intuitive design
  • 1-year guarantee, can be extended to 2 years with online registration
  • great value for money

Design and Capacity

Unlike many other soup makers, the Morphy Richards 501011 doesn’t look like your run of the mill blender. This product has a sleek, kettle-like appearance with a polished silver jug and sleek black handle. The soup maker looks far more expensive than it is, with an attractive and stylish design that quickly sets it apart from the other soup makers on offer. Its compact size makes it easy to put away in your cupboard after use, and it certainly won’t take up your entire kitchen counter while cooking up a delicious bowl of soup.

The Morphy Richards 501011 has a generous 1.6 litre capacity. This can serve about four people at one time. This is ideal for families who want to share a batch of soup, and allows those cooking just for themselves the chance to refrigerate or freeze a sizable portion to enjoy later. This isn’t the largest capacity soup maker on the market, but it’s certainly sizable enough to make a good batch of soup and should suit most customers.

Sauté Function

morphy-richards-501011-saute-and-soup-soup-maker-5There are plenty of soup makers out there that will cook and blend your soup for you, saving you time and money. However, the Morphy Richards 501011 has an added sauté feature that really sets the product above the rest. Thanks to this extra function, you can start off your soup making process by sautéing onions, garlic or anything else you please in a little oil, providing a flavoursome base for your soup. You then simply add in the rest of your ingredients and choose from the “chunky” or “smooth” soup making options. The Morphy Richards 501011 will then do all the rest of the work for you while you sit back and relax. The entire process takes less than 30 minutes, and requires no stirring or interference whatsoever.

Non-Stick Coating

Many customers have the irritating experience of scraping away soup residue from their soup maker after cooking up a batch. The Morphy Richards 501011 avoids that problem altogether with a non-stick coating that covers the entirety of the jug and lid interior. Thanks to this non-stick coating, none of the ingredients burn to the bottom of the jug or stick to the sides, making the entire cooking and cleaning process a pleasure.

Improved Pause Function

morphy-richards-501011-saute-and-soup-soup-maker-4Previous generations of Morphy Richards soup makers did not allow the customer to remove the lid of the product while cooking without starting the whole process over again. This annoyed some consumers as it prevented them from taste testing the soup as it cooked or adding seasoning to improve the flavour. This isn’t the case with the Morphy Richards 501011: this product can be opened easily at any stage in the soup making process, allowing you to simply remove the lid and add in anything you want to improve your soup or smoothie.

Once the lid has been removed you can simple place it back on the jug and the Morphy Richards 501011 will resume the cooking process exactly where it left off. This kind of intuitive design makes the product far easier to use than competing soup maker machines, and leaves you with a superior tasting bowl of soup.

Multiple Functions

morphy-richards-501011-saute-and-soup-soup-maker-2When spring and summer arrive and you’re no longer in the mood for hot soup multiple times a week, the Morphy Richards 501011 will still come in handy. Not only does this product cook and blend a variety of soups, it can also blend up delicious smoothies and juices. The powerful blades and strong motor in this product will swiftly replace your usual blender and become an invaluable multi-functional appliance for your kitchen.

Easy To Clean

Thanks to the non-stick coating and clever design of the Morphy Richards 501011, it’s easy to clean up in a hurry after your soup is finished. Although the soup maker is not dishwasher safe, you can easily rinse any residue away and then simply run around the inside of the jug and lid with a soapy sponge. Rinse the soap and your Morphy Richards 501011 is ready to be used again whenever you next feel like enjoying a comforting healthy meal.

Recipes Included

If you’re a novice soup maker without many ideas of how to use your Morphy Richards 501011, the company has provided 17 different simple recipes that will help you get started with the product. Not every soup maker comes with free recipes included, so its nice to get this little extra perk to help make the use of the product easier and more enjoyable.

Money Back Guarantee

morphy-richards-501011-saute-and-soup-soup-maker-3Morphy Richards are so confident that you will have a positive experience with this soup maker that they’ve included a one year guarantee with any purchase. If anything happens to go wrong with the machine you can easily send it back to the company and receive all of your money back in return. If you register on the Morphy Richards website you can also get an extra year added to your warranty period, protecting you from any potential breakdown or faults that could possibly occur with the product.

Should You Buy It?

We were genuinely impressed by the Morphy Richards 501011 soup maker. When you look at a large range of similar product they can all begin to blur together, so it’s refreshing when a machine comes along that genuinely goes above and beyond the usual standard and improves on previous generations. The useful extra features, strong build quality and overall efficiency and convenience of this soup maker make it easily one of the best kitchen appliances around. Add in the very reasonable price tag of around £50 and you’re definitely on to a winner.

Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker

Good-Ideas-Multi-Function-Soup-MakerIf you frequently purchase pre-made tinned soups in the winter or love to whip up a fresh smoothie in the summer, a multi-functional blender and soup maker can be a sound investment in your health and happiness. The Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker promises simplicity, quality design and ease of use in one convenient product. Unfortunately, a range of design faults and a bulky look make this soup maker a poor choice for any discerning consumer.

Price: ££

Rating: 2.5

 Key points

  • Large 1.7 litre capacity, producing about 4 bowls of soup
  • prepares soup in under 20 minutes
  • different consistency options including thick, smooth, and chunky and other functions including reheating and boiling
  • all functions are pre-set; the soup maker has no adjustable timer
  • not dishwasher safe but is fairly easy to clean
  • quite powerful:  combined 1150 W heater and blender
  • doesn’t come with clear instructions
  • Poor value for money
  •  bulky design and weight (3.5 kg)

Design

On first glance, the Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker looks like a large blender or smoothie maker, which is essentially what it is. There’s not much to shout about in terms of the design and general look of the soup maker. The black base looks smart, but the overall size and weight of the soup maker (it comes in at a fairly hefty 3.5 kg) give it a bulky appearance that some customers may find unattractive. It’s worth noting that, despite the size of the product, it will still take up less space than the various pots and pans you’d need to make soup without the machine.

Although the bulky nature of the Good Ideas soup maker would suggest a fairly sturdy, well-built product, we were disappointed to find that this wasn’t quite the case. We’ll delve into the flaws and functional issues with this soup maker later in the review, but many of the issues experienced by customers suggest that the overall build quality is not quite up to par.

Capacity

As you’d expect from such a large machine, the Good Ideas soup maker can produce a good amount of soup in one use. Its maximum capacity is 1.7 litres, which can easily give you four decent size bowls of soup, so this product is an attractive option for customers who want to make lunch for the whole family without having to make multiple batches. This is one of the larger capacity soup makers on the market, but there are products of a similar size that will be more reliable and offer better value for money, so we would not recommend the Good Ideas soup maker purely based on its capacity.

Multifunctionality

Although the Good Ideas soup maker isn’t as versatile as its competitors, it does provide a little of the range of functions we’ve come to expect from soup makers, including different consistency settings for soup (smooth, thick, or chunky) and boiling, reheating, and pulsing functions. The Good Ideas Soup Maker produces a steaming bowl of soup in under 20 minutes and can also be used to make smoothies and juices. There is no timer included–all of the function are preset— so there isn’t a lot of room for customisation, but this shouldn’t be a major problem for most customers.

Lack of Instructions

Although this isn’t a problem with the machine itself, we had some issues with the manufacturer’s instructions that came included with the product. Appliances are generally tricky to get started with, especially if you’ve never used a soup maker or similar appliance before, so it’s crucial that manufacturer’s include detailed instructions to guide you through the setup and soup making process.

Unfortunately, Good Ideas do not provide very extensive instructions for their soup maker, making the product quite difficult to use at first for many people. We have heard complaints from customers who couldn’t use their Good Ideas soup maker because the instructions didn’t specify how to operate certain functions, leading some to contact the manufacturer directly asking for more detailed instructions. This won’t be a problem for everyone, but can cause confusion and frustration amongst customers who need support in setting up their soup maker.

Potential Faults And Flaws

There are several issues with the Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker. These problems don’t plague every unit sold, but there does seem to be a fair amount of faulty machines being sold to customers. Some of the soup makers simply break down within a few weeks of use, forcing customers to send the unit back to the manufacturer. The customer is always reimbursed for the cost of the machine, but the fact that these faults take place so frequently indicate an overall design problem rather than random occurrences.

There have also been reports of the heater inside the product burning out quickly and the machine leaking after only a short period of use. While these faults may not occur in every unit purchased, we cannot recommend a product that could easily break down, leak or burn out so quickly.

Noise Levels

Like many mid-range soup makers, the Good Ideas product makes a fair amount of noise when chopping and blending your soup or fruit. You will find quieter soup makers on the market, but some noise is to be expected during the soup making process.

Easy Cleaning

Although the Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker is not dishwasher safe, it is fairly easy to clean, as long as you rinse the jug out quickly after making your soup or smoothie. If you leave the residue in the jug too long then scrubbing it by hand can become a bit of a hassle, but this problem is easily avoided. You may experience some burning at the bottom of the jug when making soup, but this issue is also easy to avoid by pouring hot stock into the machine before you add the rest of your ingredients.

Warranty Guarantee

Luckily for those who are unfortunate enough to receive a faulty unit or have trouble with their Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker, the manufacturer has provided a two year warranty. If you do experience issues with the heater or general operation of this soup maker, make sure to contact Good Ideas straight away for a full refund; don’t want for your two year time gap to expire.

Should You Buy It?

When the Good Ideas Multi Function Soup Maker works well, it seems to be a decent product that may be worth its asking price for people who enjoy making soup and smoothies at home. However, the various flaws and problems encountered by many customers makes it clear that your money would be best spent elsewhere. By looking through our reviews you’ll find several other soup makers in a similar price range that offer far better value for money, with far fewer design flaws and faults.

Andrew James Premium Black Soup Maker

andrew-james-premium-black-soup-makerThe Andrew James Premium Black Soup Maker is a high quality, multi-functional product with some highly impressive features. Whether you’re looking to whip up some healthy soups or the family or simply have a handy appliance on hand to crush ice, blend baby food or make your own smoothies, you’ll be able to do it all in no time with this useful kitchen appliance.

Rating: 4.5

Price: ££

Key Points:

  • Large 1.75 litre capacity
  • 45o W motor powers stainless steel blades and variable blade speeds
  • range of extra features: a safety switch to prevent accidents, rapid heating functionvariable temperature option, and a detachable jug
  • 8 pre-set programmes, including for chunky and smooth soups
  • Self-cleaning function; not dishwasher friendly
  • quieter than other options on the market
  • great value for money

High Quality Design

andrew-james-premium-black-soup-maker-4The Andrew James soup maker has a sleek, cool design that will look at home on even the most discerning customer’s kitchen counter. As the name would suggest, black is the dominating colour on this product, with a large silver display taking up the bulk of the base, allowing for easy function selection and clear directions. This soup maker also has an LED screen that displays timings, a nice addition for a mid-range machine.

The sturdy build quality of Andrew James Premium Black is apparent from the moment you see it. It’s a strong, powerful machine that certainly won’t break easily. Unlike some of the flimsier models on the market, this machine has powerful stainless steel blades that effortlessly cut through ice and food. The soup maker also has a 450W motor, so you can expect quick results without much strain to the machine.

The Andrew James Premium Black also has a range of handy extra features that improve the whole experience of making soup at home. The product includes a useful safety switch to prevent spills and overflowing, while the rapid 900W heating element makes the process faster than ever. The machine also has a variable temperature option, so you can customise the machine to work well for exactly what you’re cooking.

Large Capacity

We were especially impressed with the large capacity of the Andrew James Premium Black Soup Maker. This product can make up to 1.75 litres of soup at one time, allowing you to fill the whole family’s bowls up with just one batch. This is substantially larger than many of the other soup makers on the market in a similar price range, and makes this particular product ideal for families and serious soup lovers.

Easy To Use

andrew-james-premium-black-soup-maker-5Nobody likes a kitchen appliance that takes hours to work out, least of all us, so we were pleased to find that the stylish Andrew James Premium Black Soup Maker is a cinch to use. The product has variable blade speeds but you might want to use one of their eight pre-set programmes, so you don’t have to enter your own timings or set your own blade speed. These programmes include settings for chunky and smooth soup and for ice crushing, among many others.

You won’t need to do any cooking at all when making soup with this machine. Simply prepare your vegetables and other ingredients and then place them into the soup maker along with your stock, and the Andrew James Premium Black will do all of the work for you. The detachable jug then allows you to lift the jug away from the machine to pour your soup directly into your bowls or to store for later.

Easy To Clean

andrew-james-premium-black-soup-maker-3Cleaning a soup maker can be a messy job, particularly when it comes to trying to scrub around sharp blades. The Andrew James soup maker overcomes this problem with a clever self-cleaning function which does the job for you. We’re always keen to try out any kitchen appliance that claims to make washing up easier, so we were pleased to find that this product really does rinse itself clean, washing away unpleasant residue and avoiding the irritating sticking that plagues many soup maker machines.

If you prefer to give the soup maker a scrub yourself, we’d recommend rinsing the machine out immediately after serving up your soup, and then adding some hot water and soap to loosen up any residue in the jug. You can then simply switch the blender back on and let it clean itself, or clean it carefully yourself with a bottle brush. Please be aware that this product is not dishwasher friendly, so stick to the kitchen sink.

Minimal Noise

Noisy blending is a problem that we’ve encountered with most soup maker machines. Some would conclude that this issue is unavoidable when it comes to any blending appliance. The Andrew James Premium Black Soup Maker defies this rule by getting the job done without a massive amount of noise. The only moderately noisy stage occurs when the soup maker is chopping up your vegetables. After that, you’ll find this product to be remarkably quiet, allowing you to go about your business while your soup is being prepared with minimal interference or aggravation.

Warranty Period

If you do come across any faults or issues with your Andrew James Premium Black Soup Maker, you can rest assured that the company will deal with problem promptly and effectively. This product comes with a very reasonable two year warranty which guarantees your money back should you experience a breakdown in your unit. Many soup makers come with no warranty at all, so it’s always refreshing to see some legal protection on the side of the consumer.

Recipes Included

andrew-james-premium-black-soup-maker-2If you’re a newcomer to the world of soup making, you can easily get started with the recipes that come included with the manual of the Andrew James soup maker. We were a little disappointed that the product didn’t come with a full recipe book included as some similar soup makers do, but there are recipes available to try out and you’ll find plenty more online. You can also make your own recipes up by simply throwing in whatever leftovers you have and watching the Andrew James Premium Black work its magic!

Should You Buy It?

We were very impressed with the value for money offered by this product. It has a variety of great features, a sturdy design that you can rely on and a large capacity– all at a reasonable price, below £60. The Andrew James Premium Black whips your soup up in less than 30 minutes with minimal fuss, making it one of our top picks.

Vivo Fresh Soup Maker Machine

vivo-fresh-soup-maker-machineThe Vivo Fresh Soup Maker Machine & Smoothie Maker is a popular choice amongst customers who like to get more bang for their buck. With a great range of functions available and a clear, simple design that makes it remarkably easy to use, the Vivo Fresh is a great option for anyone looking to incorporate more soup or smoothies into their diet.

Rating: 4

Price: ££

Key Points:

  • 1.7 litre capacity: 3-4 bowls of soup
  • produces a finished bowl of soup in just 20 minutes
  • cooks food on hot plate before blending
  • options for smooth blending, chunky blending, pulsing, and reheating
  • multi-functional: can also cook, steam, boil, blend smoothies and make soya
  • fairly noisy
  • fairly easy to clean
  • good build quality and design
  • weighs just 2kg
  • includes free recipe book, but for a soup maker with a timer, which the Vivo Fresh doesn’t have
  • some reports of faulty units

Design and Capacity

The Vivo Fresh is certainly one of the larger soup makers currently on the market, with an impressive 1.7 litre capacity. You can easily serve up about three large bowls of soup from the jug, or four smaller bowls, so it’s perfect for couples who like to share a warm meal on a winter’s day or for whipping up a batch for yourself to enjoy over a few days.

The design of this appliance is top notch. It doesn’t take up too much room on your counter thanks to its compact, neat design, and its silver and black colour scheme will fit nicely into any kitchen. While some large capacity soup maker machines tend to be heavy and bulky, making them difficult to lift and use with ease, the Vivo Fresh is surprisingly light as just 2kg.

This soup make is a good choice for people who like their kitchen appliances to be simple and straightforward. The display on the Vivo Fresh has clear buttons for different functions, with options for smooth blending, chunky blending, steaming, pulsing and re-heating. Even a genuine novice in the world of kitchen gadgets will find the Vivo Fresh easy to figure out, and will be whipping up quick batches of soup in no time.

Noise Levels

Unfortunately for those with sensitive ears, the Vivo Fresh Soup Maker Machine is not the shy and retiring type. It will let the whole house know that soup is being made, but this is a common issue amongst powerful kitchen appliances that is difficult to avoid. While it is possible to find soup makers that get the job done without making a huge amount of racket, these machines tend to be on the more expensive side. We believe that a little noise while you wait is a small price to pay for a good value, multi-functional product.

Multi-Functional

We all like to get as many functions as we can out of a kitchen appliance, provided the functions actually work as they should. It’s extremely frustrating to buy a product expecting a range of uses, only to find that most of the functions don’t work well at all. Luckily, this isn’t the case with the Vivo Fresh.

This product boasts a range of functions, from soup and smoothie making to egg boiling, sauce making to cooking. It works exactly as it says on the tin, with each function running as smoothly as the next. Soup making may be its primary function, but it will just as easily steam your vegetables, cook up a quick curry sauce or boil your eggs for breakfast. This impressive functionality could save you the trouble of buying a range of other kitchen appliances, making the Vivo Fresh great value for money and a real time-saver.

Easy To Clean

As with most soup maker machines, the trick to getting a nice quick clean after every use is to rinse the jug out as soon as your soup is ready to be eaten. If you leave the remnants inside the jug to harden then the machine does become more difficult to clean, but rinsing after use will make the cleaning process quick and simple. The Vivo machine does also come with a handy brush cleaner which makes cleaning the bottom of the jug much easier than trying to avoid the blades with a sponge.

Some customers experience difficulty with ingredients burning at the bottom of the jug while using the Vivo Fresh Soup Maker. This is common issue that we’ve encountered with soup makers, but is also easily avoided. Simply add hot stock to the bottom of the jug before you add in the rest of your ingredients and the base should be protected from that irritating burning residue. We also found that greasing the plate at the bottom of the jug with a small amount of olive oil helps to keep things running smoothly and prevents burning, although this may not be suitable for those attempting to follow a low fat diet.

Recipes Included

Everyone loves a good freebie, so we’re always happy to get something extra alongside a product purchase. The Vivo Fresh Soup Maker Machine comes with a recipe book at no extra cos:  Simple and Easy Recipes for Soup-Making Machines by Norma Miller. This book normally retails at £5.99, so it’s nice to get it for free with the soup maker.

The book itself is a handy companion to the appliance. It has a variety of different recipes, many of them delicious, and will help those who’ve never used a soup maker before to experiment with flavours and textures. We do, however, have one major gripe with the book. The recipes included come with instructions for a soup maker with a timer, something the Vivo Fresh does not have, so it’s difficult to match up the instructions with the machine itself.

Because the book is a free extra and not a necessary component of the Vivo Fresh Soup Maker Machine, this isn’t a significant failing and shouldn’t really affect anyone’s decision to go ahead with this purchase.

Faulty Units

Although this wasn’t something that we experienced when trying out the Vivo Fresh Soup Maker, there have been reports of faulty units being delivered to come customers that don’t function as they should. This is always a significant concern, particularly if you’re one of the unlucky ones who receive a machine that burns out quickly or simply stops working without warning.

The Vivo Fresh customer service team are generally good at responding to complaints promptly and refunding customers appropriately, so we’d recommend immediately reporting any problems to the company should a problem arise.

Value For Money

Overall, we were very impressed by the range of functions, simplicity and high quality design of the Vivo Fresh Soup Maker Machine. It’s not the cheapest soup maker on the market but it’s certainly not the most expensive, making it a sensible choice for those looking for a mid-range appliance that will get a wide range of cooking tasks done without much hassle.

Morphy Richards 48822 Soup Maker

morphy-richards-48822-soup-makerThe Morphy Richards 48822 Soup Maker is ideal for people who love to make a big bowl of soup on a chilly winter’s day with minimal hassle. This convenient kitchen gadget is fast, reliable and large enough to make a delicious soup for the whole family, whenever you feel like it. Healthy eating is easier than ever with this soup maker.

Rating: 4.5

Price: ££

Key Points

  • 1.6 litre capacity (also the minimum capacity)
  • produces soup in 25 minutes
  • also has blending and juicing capacities
  • easy to disassemble and clean
  • users have reported that the bottom of the soup may burn
  • doesn’t have as many customisation options as other soup makers: has only 2 settings, for smoother and chunkier soups
  • includes a recipe book

Good Capacity

At 1.6 litres, the Morphy Richards soup maker is easily big enough to make a bowlful each for around four people, and those who are making it just for themselves can save the extra for later or freeze it to save time on a busy day. We should note that 1.6 litres is the minimum amount you can put in, so if you only want to make smaller quantities at one time, you may want to seek out a smaller soupmaker.

Easy To Use

morphy-richards-48822-soup-maker-3The Morphy Richards 48822 is extremely simple to use. All you have to do is cook up your ingredients (if you’re including things like meat), pop them all in with the stock and press the button. The machine will then make your soup while you go about your business, and an alarm sounds to let you know when it’s all done. The whole process takes around 25 minutes, which is far quicker than the process of preparing and making soup by yourself.

If, once the soup maker finishes cooking, you’re not pleased with the results and want to get a smoother consistency, you can select the “blend” button to puree it more. The soup maker can also be used to blend fruit and make smoothies, and has a dedicated “juice” button, so it definitely has multiple uses that make it an all around convenient kitchen gadget.

Easy To Clean

Once you’ve finished cooking up your soup, the Morphy Richards soup maker is easy to dissemble and clean without hassle. Cleaning is easiest if you rinse the jug with hot water as soon as the soup is ready so the food doesn’t have a chance to stick. Once it’s rinsed, a quick wipe with a sponge will have the soup maker clean and ready to be used again. The process is very fast and simple.

One warning we’d give is that the blades in the jug are quite sharp, so be careful while cleaning that you wipe this area off with caution. You should also be sure to dry the base of the jug thoroughly before cooking again, as it does come into contact with electricity.

Burning Issues

As is often the case with soup makers, you may encounter some problems with the bottom of the soup maker burning at the bottom while it cooks. This is an irritating issue, leading to some of the food being burned away and lots of scrubbing required to clean the soupmaker back up at the bottom. However, it’s easily fixed. We recommended putting the stock in first when putting your ingredients into the Morphy Richards soupmaker to prevent burning from happening. You can also put some olive oil or butter in at the bottom to prevent sticking.

morphy-richards-48822-soup-maker-2Simple Options

Once potential shortcoming of the Morphy Richards machine is that it doesn’t have as many customisation options as some other competing soupmakers. This soupmaker has only two settings, allowing for chunkier or smoother soups, but you can’t change the settings apart from that to allow for a change in consistency, and you can’t stop the machine mid-cook to add ingredients in.

There are other soup makers out there that offer users more options, but this one is a simpler machine. This may not be an issue for many people who are looking for a simple soup maker to make fairly basic recipes and who don’t plan on veering from the set consistencies, but if you’d like more choices then you might want to consider a different gadget.

Recipe Book

The Morphy Richards 48822 comes with a very handy recipe book included that makes it easy to get started making soups, even for new cooks with very little experience. You can use the recipes included for inspiration and tweak them to create meals that suit you. The recipes given are detailed enough for inexperienced chefs to work through, and the book also includes smoothie and milkshake recipes to help you make the most of this machine.

Should You Buy It?

Overall, the Morphy Richards Soup  Maker is a great starter machine for those hoping to lead a healthier lifestyle, or anyone looking to start cooking soups regularly. It’s straightforward to use, easy to clean and comes with a very reasonable price tag. If want a more complicated machine with higher functionality then there are alternatives that might suit you better, but for its price and build quality, we think the Morphy Richards is a good choice for many customers.

VonShef Soup Maker Machine & Smoothie Maker

vonshef-soup-maker-machineThe VonShef Fresh Soup Maker Machine and Smoothie Maker is something of of a mixed bag. It offers convenience and a simple process for cooking and blending soups and smoothies, but it may not be strong enough to withstand much actual use. This lower priced soup maker works well when it works, but has some major design flaws that could get in the way of a positive cooking experience.

Rating: 3

Price£

Key Points

  •  1.7 litre capacity
  • also has blending, pulsing, cooking, steaming, and boiling functions
  • useful safety features: won’t turn on until lid is fully sealed, anti-burning mechanism
  • noisy
  • some users report the machine can be unreliable and break or burn out quickly
  • comes with a free scrub and brush, egg steamer, and recipe book

Large Capacity

The VonShef Soup Maker can make up to 1.7 litres of soup (or whatever else you want to make in it) in one go, which is certainly a nice size and offers more room than some of the competing soup makers. This should allow you to make batches of soup for the whole family, while giving you the option of freezing some to store for meals at a later date.

Multiple Uses

Aside from being a convenient gadget for making quick soups, the VonShef machine can make tons of other snacks, meals and drinks. You can use the Shef soup maker for a variety of cooking tasks from blending and pulsing to cooking, steaming, boiling, making sauces, making smoothies and blending up delicious cocktails. This can eliminate the need to buy other expensive kitchen gadgets, giving you one item to cover plenty of different kitchen needs.

Safety Features

This product comes with some useful safety features to help protect customers, which you don’t find on every soup maker on the market. The machine won’t turn on until the lid is fully secured, and it checks for liquid in the jug before beginning to ensure that burning doesn’t take place. These features might seem irritating at first, but they’re in pace to prevent accidents, which is always appreciated.

We should note that, despite the anti-burning feature in the VonShef Soup Maker, if you don’t put enough liquid in or line the bottom somehow with oil, certain ingredients have been known to burn or stick at the bottom of the jug. This can be highly annoying, and could lead to extra clean up time, definitely an undesirable outcome.

Noise Levels

Like many blending products, the VonShef Soup Maker does make quite a lot of noise when switched on. This won’t surprise most customers as it’s fairly common for this type of gadget, but if you find noisy products annoying then there are quieter machines on the market. One plus is that once you’ve put your ingredients and started the process, there’s no need to hang around while it cooks, so you can always walk away from the racket.

Potentially Unreliable

While some customers are very happy with their VonShef Soup Maker, we’ve also heard reports that the machine can be unreliable. Some customers have reported receiving their VonShef Soup Maker only to have it never switch on, simply beeping and refusing to begin cooking and blending the ingredients. Other customers have had issues with the soup maker breaking down after only a few uses, or the motor burning out quickly, stopping the machine from working altogether.

While this obviously won’t necessarily happen to every person who purchases the VonShef Soup Maker, if you’re looking for a really sturdy and reliable soup maker then you may want to give this one a miss, although you might end up having to fork out a little extra cash for a better model. This one’s all down to personal preference and how much of a risk you’re willing to take.

Additional Features       

The VonShef Soup Maker does come with some nice extras included in the price: you do get a lot of your money. The machine comes with a free scrub and brush to make the cleaning process nice and easy, along with an egg steamer to help out at breakfast time.

Another handy addition is the recipe book included. The Super Soups Cookbook by Sara Lewis has 200 different recipes to help you get started on your soup making journey. The book has tons of diverse, interesting recipes from basic soups to more complicated flavours, and should have something to suit everyone’s taste.

Should You Buy It?

The trouble with the VonShef Soup Maker Machine and Smoothie Maker is that, on paper, it sounds great. It comes at a low price, has plenty of different options, can be super convenient and is fairly easy to use and clean. When it does what it says on the box, it’s great.

However, and this is a big however, some faults in the machinery of this product seem to make it unreliable at times, even leading it to never work at all for some customers. We can’t recommend a product that may leave you with absolutely nothing for your money, whatever the price.

As there are plenty of other good quality soup makers on the market, it’s probably worth paying a little extra for a more consistent machine that won’t let you down when you need it.

Andrew James 7 in 1 Soup Maker Machine

andrewjames7in1soupmakerIf you’re after a multi-purpose kitchen gadget that will do all your kitchen jobs for you, the Andrew James Automatic Multifunctional 7 in 1  Soup Maker Machine might be the appliance you’ve been after. It has plenty of tricks up its sleeve and works well for a moderate price. We’ve tested it out for you to see if it’s up to the task.

Rating: 4

Price: £

Key Points

  • multifunctional: works as a soup maker, a smoothie marker, a food blender, a coffee and nut grinder, an ice crusher, a vegetable steamer, an egg boiler, and a food warmer
  • makes soup in 20 minutes
  • 1.5 litre capacity
  • 1100 Watt motor that can, unfortunately, be quite noisy
  • making soup of easy and intuitive but figuring out the other functions can be difficult
  • not dishwasher safe and can’t be submerged in water so cleaning can be tricky
  • 2-year warranty

Multi-Functional

andrew-james-7-in-1-soupmaker-2This gadget is much more than a humble soup maker. The Andrew James machine can do tons of different jobs for you in the kitchen, from whipping up juice and milkshakes to boiling eggs, grinding coffee, steaming vegetables and warming your food up.

It has several different compartments and functions designed to do different processes, and they all work nicely. The only complaint we’d have would be that when making smoothies, the blender doesn’t deal as well with larger chunks of fruit, and the smoothies can sometimes come out less smooth than you might like.

The egg boiling compartment allows you to boil four eggs at one time, and the steamer basket is ideal for steaming veggies to then blend in the same machine to make your own home made baby food.

andrew-james-7-in-1-soupmakerIn terms of our purpose–making soup–we found that the Andrew James machine worked really well. You can pick between a chunky or smooth option. Just remember to put the soup making filter into the making when you’re going for the chunky option. The results are always good, with nice flavours and a good heat produced by the machine.

Fast Results

The Andrew James soupmaker is super fast: it can whip up a delicious bowl of soup for you in around 20 minutes, making it deal for people in a hurry. The machine has some serious power–1100 Watts— giving you efficient results every time. The only downside of the powerful motor is that it can be pretty noisy, so you may want to turn it on and then do something in another room to avoid the earache.

The machine also beeps very loudly when turning on and to alert you when your soup is done, which could be considered an annoyance or a useful feature, depending on your point of view.

Ease Of Use

When it comes to making soup, the Andrew James 7 in 1 is very simple to use. All you have to do is throw your chosen ingredients in, pour in your liquid and whatever seasoning you prefer and then press a button.

If you want to use the Andrew James machine for all of its other functions, it can get a little more complicated to figure things out. The instructions aren’t as straightforward as they could be, a bit more detail would make the whole process a lot easier, especially for people that aren’t fully accustomed to kitchen gadgets and struggle to work out how to use them. It is easy to assemble though, and for making soup it’s very simple.

Cleaning Issues

andrew-james-7-in-1-soupmaker-4The Andrew James 7 in 1 can be a tad awkward to clean: the blades aren’t detachable and the machine isn’t dishwasher safe, so we’d definitely recommend that you rinse everything off while the jug is still wet, rather than waiting for the food to try on the inside of the product. There are definitely soupmakers out there that are less of a hassle to clean, as this one can be a bit fiddly and there’s a bit of risk involved when cleaning the blades. The Andrew James soupmaker also can’t be submerged in water, which is quite an irritating feature.

Clean with caution and think ahead and it should be fine, but if you leave it after making your soup you may be in for something of a hassle when it comes to washing up.

Should You Buy It?

andrew-james-7-in-1-soupmaker-5For its price, this is a really useful gadget. It saves you spending money on tons of other kitchen appliances, combining multiple functions in one product. It makes good quality soup in a short amount of time, and we believe that many people would be pleased with it as a whole.

There are some flaws that make this soup maker not quite as good as some of the others out there, so we don’t rate this at the top of our list. Clearer instructions and an easier cleaning system would make it a far better product overall. Generally though, the Andrew James is a good, solid product with strong build quality. Once you’ve figured out how it all works, it could make your life a whole lot easier.