My husband chose the Andrew James Soup Maker and Blender which actually does a lot more than just make soup - you can also use it make smoothies, grind coffee, crush ice, steam vegetables and even boil eggs. I've only used it so far for making soup, but I can see that it would have been brilliant for making up pureed baby food, and I'll definitely be trying out some smoothies.
I found the soup maker machine very easy to use. There aren't too many buttons, and you only need to press a couple to get the programme that you want. You can also stop it at any time.
When making soup you can select smooth or chunky. I quickly found out that I preferred the chunky soup, although I'm not sure that chunky is quite the right word because it is still blended to a very smooth consistency. It's really easy to make soup - just chop up your ingredients and place inside the jug, then turn it on and select the programme. It takes about half an hour, running through a cycle of heating and blending. I love just piling all the ingredients in and leaving it to it, no standing for ages by the hob and stirring away. I made the short video below of the soup maker as it made up a batch of my spicy butternut squash soup:
Because the soup was blended so smoothly, if I was making a soup with ingredients that I wanted to remain relatively intact - a bean soup perhaps - I would add them in at the end so that they weren't broken up.
The soup maker is not super easy to clean as you can't fully immerse the jug in water due to the heating element underneath. There is a handy brush supplied which works very well to clean the bottom, although I did find that after a couple of uses there was residue stuck to the inside hot plate which I found impossible to remove.
Although the blender function works very well when being used to make soup, I would say don't buy the machine just for the blender function if you are only looking to blend small quantities. I used it to blend up some tomato sauce which I had made on the hob and it didn't work very well, a lot of the sauce was wasted as it was caught up inside the lid. Now I'm more confident with the machine, I think that in future I'll be making the sauce actually in the soup maker, and making double quantities to fill it up more.
Something that I have found about this soup maker is that it only makes enough for two large or three smaller portions. This is absolutely fine for me, as that is all I want to make at a time. What it does mean though is that many of my soup recipes make a quantity which is too large for the soup maker. With this in mind I've been going through and adapting some of my recipes, and I'll be sharing some of my favourites in a post shortly. Generally you need a recipe with no more than about 500 ml of stock or other liquid. There is a small recipe book supplied with the soup maker but the recipes didn't really appeal to me - instead I'm building up quite a collection over on Pinterest!
I'm really impressed with the soup maker, it's something that I was living quite happily without and yet it has made a big difference to my life, which is why I wanted to share it on my blog! Do you have a soup maker? I'd love to hear what you think of it!
We purchased this soup maker, Amazon links are affiliate.