The 6 best soup makers for 2021: feed your family with ease using these simple, cost effective machines

Nourish your body and your spirit with a delicious bowl of home-made soup.  

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 5:56 pm
Revolutionise your lunches and supercharge supper with these easy to use, inexpensive soup makers

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Soup is a year-round staple that’s low-cost and often highly nutritious, not to mention incredibly easy to make. Opting for the homemade variety over the kinds that come in cans allows you to be selective over the ingredients you digest (so you can pass on preservatives and additives like sugar and salt, if you so wish), experiment with favourite flavour combos and prep in batches so you can freeze portions for future meals. It also reduces cost and waste.

We rate soup makers for their ease of use; the amount of prep and cook time they save, the benefit of being able to focus on other tasks whilst it simmers away and the significant reduction in washing up. Really, if soup is one of your go-to meals, investing in a soup maker is a no-brainer.

We put some of the best soup makers to the test, rating them on speed, functionality, quality, cost, versatility (some can also prep smoothies, boil eggs and sauté too) and ease of cleaning too. Here are our favourites…

Neo 4 in 1 Stainless Steel Digital Soup Maker

Neo 4 in 1 Stainless Steel Digital Soup Maker

Soup making capacity: 1.4L

Neo’s 4 in 1 Soup Maker is compact and somewhat kettle-like in appearance – ideal if you live in close quarters. There’s very little setup required, simply plug it into a socket, and it’s so easy to use we’d bet that even a complete kitchen novice could whip up a half-decent batch of soup without a second glance at the instruction manual (though, do give it a look over for safety reasons).

The jug is made of thick, clear glass, which we liked for eyeballing soup consistency without needing to disturb the process, though it does make it a fairly heavy appliance. It’s also quite tricky to clean as the base cannot be submerged in water (unusually, it does, however, come with a toothbrush for scrubbing in the nooks).

There are three settings; chunky, smooth and pulse, the former two of which take care of the entire cooking (and blending) process, allowing you to go about your chores or self-cares without any worry of pans boiling over. A smooth soup run takes around 30 minutes, though our tester found it wasn’t quite long enough to cook a root veg soup through, so ran it a second time, resulting in a super smooth and creamy soup.

It’s a bit of a vocal appliance – expect to get shouted (beeped) at if you over- or under-fill it, and it clunks a little when the blender gets going, but on the whole it’s not too obnoxious. The instructions advise against using it to blend ice and other frozen items so as smoothies are off the table it’s a bit of a one-trick pony, but a great one.

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Morphy Richards Perfect Soup Soup Maker

Morphy Richards Perfect Soup Soup Maker

Soup making capacity: 1.6L

Simple, easy to use and requiring no significant setup, the Morphy Richards Perfect Soup Maker is likely to see you shunning those Heinz multipacks you usually opt for. It doesn’t have a huge amount going for it in the looks department (it has an industrial-style stainless steel base and a chunky lid), but it ticks many boxes when it comes to functionality.

There are three automatic modes, smooth (21 minutes), chunky (28 minutes) and clean (a 4-minute cycle), and smoothie/blend, which is manual. However, our tester found that a single smooth run wasn’t quite long enough for a silky potato soup, but twice did the trick.

It has integrated scales to make following recipes and measuring ingredients a breeze (and minimise washing up), and there’s also a keep-warm function, which is great for when you aren’t ready to eat right away. An LED screen provides a time countdown so you know exactly when your soup is cooked to perfection, and a pause function means you can stop mid-cook to taste and tweak.

The clean setting is handy, but we found it to be no match for burnt-on residue, which needed a bit of elbow grease to get off. 

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Tower Soupmaker

Tower Soupmaker

Soup making capacity: 1.6L

The Tower Soupmaker won us over not by its bells and whistles, of which it has few, but by how it executes one function really, really well. It’s not a do-it-all device – it doesn’t have the boil or sauté options some other soup makers boast – but neither does it claim to be.

It has a simple, stainless steel design that makes it look like a cross between a kettle and a pressure cooker, though it’s also available with rose gold accents, the style-conscious will be happy to hear. It’s fairly compact – for an appliance, at least – but can still prep a week’s worth of work lunches in one batch, and assembly couldn’t be easier.

There are four functions for soup and smoothie-making: smooth, chunky, juice and blend, and it’s incredibly efficient – it served our tester a full jug of glossy parsnip soup in one 21-minute run, minus any awkward lumps or texture inconsistencies, and without need of an additional blend.

Like most soupmakers, it isn’t the easiest to clean as neither the jug nor lid can be submerged in water, however, we found that a small amount of oil on the base of the jug before cooking prevented any burnt-on residue, so both parts could be wiped-clean without a fuss.

It’s among the cheapest of the bunch and, for an extra tenner, you can get a matching flask to enjoy your concoctions on-the-go. Consider us sold.

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Lakeland Touchscreen Soup Maker

Lakeland Touchscreen Soup Maker

Soup making capacity: 1.4L

Lakeland’s Touchscreen Soup Maker feels somehow superior, in that, it has features aplenty and a sleek appearance, all without compromising its most important component – the actual soup-making. You can use it to prep soup with the standard chunky and smooth options or you can go off-piste by tweaking the temperature manually, and the ice-crushing function means that you actually can use it to whizz up smoothies (unlike some others which boast of a smoothie feature, but advise against using ice). It also gets a bonus point for having an auto-clean feature.

It has a blender-like look with a sturdy glass jug that gets heavy – and hot – when it’s filled up. The touchscreen is easy to navigate and a large LED screen counts down time remaining on your cook so there’s no need to stand over it while it simmers (though, there’s something therapeutic about watching it do its thing).

It takes some 10 minutes more to prepare a smooth soup than some other, simpler soup makers, but for all the extras it offers, the Touchscreen Soup Maker is worth the extra time. A couple of things to note: it stands tall when assembled, so might not fit under wall-hung cabinets, and it can leak if overfilled. 

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Drew & Cole Soup Chef

Drew & Cole Soup Chef

Soup making capacity: 1.6L

Impressively, Drew & Cole’s Soup Chef whips up glossy smooth soup in just 19 minutes – with no texture inconsistencies whatsoever. It’s a little tricky to operate at first – not due to complexity, but because it has a smart – and handy – memory function which allows you to remove the lid mid-cook to season and add ingredients without needing to start the cycle again. So, essentially, if you hit a wrong button (which, alas, our tester did), it’s a bit of a faff trying to stop and restart it on a different setting, but otherwise straightforward.

There are three cooking features, chunky soup, smooth soup and sauté, and an auto-clean setting too. It also has a keep-warm function, so you can prep and cook two hours ahead of serving time.

It’s a fairly compact appliance with a light-weight base. The lid, which has the blade attachment, is a little heavier, and has a collapsible handle which, admittedly, does make cleaning a little trickier as it’s hard to hold steady. That said, the jug – which cannot be immersed in water, wipes clean without a fuss (we did lightly grease it with oil beforehand, though).

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Cuisinart Soupmaker Plus

Cuisinart Soupmaker Plus

Soup making capacity: 1.4L

Cuisinart’s Soupmaker Plus is better-suited to the more seasoned chefs among us due to its complexity. Of course, you’ll still be able to whip up a tasty soup as a novice, but it can take a bit of trial and error. Instead of being a switch-on-and-go kind of appliance, each step needs to be actioned manually (so you cook the soup ingredients then set the blender yourself afterwards if you want it smooth) and, where more bog standard soup makers ask you to choose between chunky and smooth, the Soupmaker Plus instead has you select a cooking temperature and time, which feels like a lot of responsibility.  

That said, if you’re keen to replace your many appliances with one that does it all, then this is a great contender. You can cook pretty much anything that takes your fancy – risotto, pasta sauce, rice pudding, and it has a sauté function too which means less washing up (a win, in our book).

It has a blender-like setup with a chunky, clear glass jug that feels sturdy but will give you an upper-body workout. It looks sleek and stylish, however, it is quite tall, and likely wouldn’t fit under most wall-hung cabinets.

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