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.

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.