I am one of those cooks who isn't adverse to letting an inanimate piece of machinery make my life easier. It all started with my very first blender, which suddenly opened up all sorts of possibilities, smoothies, soups, other general blended things... After what can only be deemed as an obsession with my slow cooker last term, I recently decided I needed a new gadget in my life.
Luckily, just at this point of culinary longing, my mother decided it was time to find a new home for her Cuisinart Soup Maker. Unfortunately she was having some difficulty using it, which is probably something to do with her less than enthusiasm for the kitchen. One day I will recount to you the family legends surrounding my mother's numerous kitchen disasters (sorry mum!)
Anyway, long story short - she kindly gave it to me to take up to university (thanks mum!)
Here you can see how the base detaches from the blender part
I will admit, I was slightly sceptical at first about a gadget which claims to cook soup from start to finish. However, after some trial and error, coupled with a close reading of the instructions, I am happy to say that the Cuisinart Soup Maker has earned its place in my kitchen cupboard. I now use it about two or three times a week to whip up a range of fresh and tasty soups.
So that you can see for yourself how it works, here is how I made sweet potato soup in it earlier on in the week!
Simple Soup Recipe
500g Sweet Potato , chopped into small chunks
1 Onion, finely chopped
700ml ofVegetable Stock
Knob of Butter
1tsp Virgin Olive Oil
1tsp Mixed Herbs
This was a soup I whipped up in a mighty hurry so it's quite plain. Feel free to add some different veg, sweet potato works especially well with chopped chili too!
1. First you start by turning the soup maker on and selecting the whole cook time, in this case it was 27 minutes, then press the low button.
2. Add the oil and butter.
3. Quickly add the chopped onion and let the onion brown for 2 minutes, using the stir button once of twice
4. After 2 minutes are up, add the sweet potato and mixed herbs, cover and leave for another 2 minutes.
5. Add the stock, press stir a few times and switch to the high setting. Bring to the boil and hold for 2 minutes, then switch to simmer setting.
6. Leave on simmer for the rest of the cycle, using the stir button occasionally throughout.
7. Once the timer has ended, use the large silver dial to blend the soup.
8. Serve the soup straight from the blender, which has an easy pour lip! Enjoy with a hunk of wholemeal bread, or in my case, brioche (got the wrong bread out of the freezer = idiot)
Overall, I really rate this soup maker. It's a really quick way to make a very tasty soup with minimum effort. However, washing up the soup maker after can be a bit of a faff as you have to be very careful not to get the underside wet, as this can damage it. It's also not a cheap piece of kit, usually retailing for around £130.
I think it's a good investment for people like myself though, who need a simple and effective way of making a great meal in a hurry!
I'm now planning my next gadget investment, a bread maker perhaps....