Though not a kitchen essential, soup makers can save a great deal of time, stress and washing up. Traditional soup recipes call for various stages of preparation from chopping, to simmering for long periods of time and blitzing, which is time-consuming and creates mess. Soup makers can make light work of the process.
If you use a handblender to blitz rather than a blender, you don’t get the ultra-smooth results you would with a specialist machine. Soup makers aren’t always just for soups either. Many can prepare smoothies, cold drinks, batters, dips, sauces and even baby food, so you can make your investment stretch further.
Soup makers fall into two categories – simple models that require little more than chopping ingredients and pressing a button. Their primary use is to make soup with smoothies as an add-on and are ideal if you’re looking to save time and minimise on effort in the kitchen.
Then there are more sophisticated blenders with a range of functions. They will still save time and washing up but require varying levels of user input and creativity. The less confident or less enthusiasic cook might prefer the former.
Size, weight and appearance are all factors to consider when buying. The simple models tend to be lighter and take up less space. The versatile models can be larger and heavier, especially if they have a glass jug.
The benefit of a glass or plastic jug over stainless is being able to view the cooking process so bear that in mind, too. We think a timer – even if just for counting down – is a worthwhile feature, allowing you to check on progress. Read on to discover our favourite soup makers.
The Best Soup Makers to Buy
Tefal Easy Soup (best basic soup maker)
For a little more, you get extra functionality with this Tefal soup maker. There are a lot of recipes to choose from in the accompanying booklet, and we had a go at their sweet potato & red lentil soup. The ‘soup with pieces’ setting doesn’t blend at all and produced a good result in 25 minutes. You need to keep pieces small to ensure thorough cooking. We also used the blend button to make their mango lassi – this machine is perfect for the luxurious texture needed.
The easy cleaning button is a handy feature, but unlike some of the other soup makers that have this, it does not recommend using detergent. We can’t quite get past not using soap so gave it a further clean afterwards. The information says not to put the jug under running water, which makes it a bit trickier, but it still proved easier than cleaning a saucepan.
- Buy now Tefal Easy Soup from Amazon
Ninja Blender and Soup Maker (best all-round soup maker)
If the thought of a velvety, creamy tomato soup fills your heart with joy, then look no further than the Ninja blender and soup maker. During testing, the Ninja consistently delivered smooth soups, although it took markedly longer to soften chunkier leek and potato varieties due to the slightly weedy heating element.
That heating element can keep soups warm for up to an hour after they finish cooking, however, and that’s not all: the Ninja’s sauté function and manual cooking modes mean you can chuck everything in and leave it to go for hours if you need to, and it can produce jams, frozen drinks and sauces as well.
It’s a bit hefty, sure, but no other soup maker is quite so versatile.
- Buy now Ninja Blender and Soup Maker from Amazon
Philips Soup Maker (best dedicated soup maker)
Designed specifically for soup making, this handy gadget is great for making small batches of soups, for 2-4 servings. It offers several preset cycles, for smooth or chunky soup, fruit compotes, or smoothies. It even has a special function that’s optimized for milk-based soups, and it can also be used for cold-blended soups and as a regular countertop blender.
It can make soup in as little as 18 minutes, but it’s better for vegetable-based soups or soups made with pre-cooked ingredients; it can’t cook large chunks of raw meat into a hearty stew. It also requires careful handwashing since the electric components can’t be immersed with water.
- Buy now Philips Soup Maker from Amazon
Cuisinart Soup Maker (best soup maker for hands-on cooks)
This machine has three main settings. The first is sauté for browning base ingredients. There’s a high setting (up to 100C) for bringing liquids up to the boil and a simmer setting, which is a lower temperature (up to 80C) and ideal for simmering soups. These settings only provide heat.
If you want to stir, you need to press the slow stir button. Blending can be done once any of the programmes have finished. In addition, you can blend or pulse cold liquids such as smoothies.
We tried two of the recipes provided by Cuisinart – a curry paste and a Thai chicken soup. The machine had no trouble grinding up ingredients to a smooth paste and the soup function was easy to use. The recipe booklet also offers inspiration for jam, chutney, risotto, smoothie, nut milk, curries and soups.
- Buy now Cuisinart Soup Maker from Amazon
Beko stainless steel soup maker (best mid-range soup maker)
For its price, this Beko soup maker is powerful, robust, good-looking and great value for money. It comes with the added bonus of being a fantastic blender for other kitchen duties. There are two specific pre-set functions for this: ‘chunky soup’ and ‘fine soup’ to cater to different tastes and preferences, plus a useful keep-warm function. It also produces a well-blended smoothie and can be used to crush ice or make sauces.
- Buy now from Amazon
electriQ 1800W multifunctional blender, smoothie and soup maker (best multi-function soup maker)
People with small kitchens might be reluctant to buy a separate blender and food processor and this electriQ machine solves that particular problem. Its Japanese stainless steel blades – and powerful 1800W motor – are able to pulverise ingredients, including nuts, seeds and grains, with ease, acting like a food processor. Plus, all of its functions conveniently use the same blade, saving on time and washing up. Impressively, it can also rustle up a hot soup from cold ingredients in just five minutes.
- Buy now from Amazon
How we tested soup makers
Smooth setting: We followed the basic instructions to make our carrot & coriander soup in order to compare texture, taste and ease of use.
Chunky setting: We also tried at least one of the manufacturer’s chunky recipes as, depending on whether this setting blended or simply heated, results could vary. We also wanted to see how good the provided recipes were!
Other settings: We took the machines through their paces, trying a variety of other settings and functions – from smoothie making to grinding – to get an idea of how versatile the machines really were.
Instruction manual: Helpful, accurate guidance from the manufacturer on set-up, timings and how to prepare various types of soups was a must. We gave extra marks for a variety of recipes.
Ease of use: A soup maker should reduce the work involved in cooking. We looked for easy-to-use machines, where we felt confident that the process minimised the fuss of preparing ingredients and cooking them.
Ease of cleaning: Although we were open to hand-washing (most machines, because of their size and electric output are not dishwasher safe), we still kept an eye out for machines that made life easier when it came to washing-up.
Aesthetics and size: Soup makers can be space-consuming, so we considered both height and footprint. We favoured compact soup makers for ease of storage, unless they were enhanced with additional functionality, which justified a bigger size. Attractive design was also taken into consideration.
Versatility: We looked for soup makers that didn’t just stick to the norm and brought other uses where possible.