Soup is enjoyed in nearly all cultures across our globe and has been creatively adapted and altered in many tasty and creative manners. But preparing soup is definitely not something you can complete without making a bit of a mess. There's nearly always a variety of pans, bowls and chopping boards which require cleaning, not to mention the attention which is required to keep an eye on all the different ingredients and concoctions cooking and stewing within your kitchen. It can all be very daunting if you just want a relaxing evening after coming home from a busy day at work to a comforting homemade bowl of soup. Which is why Waring have actually made a dedicated soup making machine, simply named the Waring Soup Maker, which aims to be an all-in-one soup making solution.
In many respects this could be mistaken as a traditional blender by guests who glance upon it on a countertop. But to those in the know, the blender ability is insignificant when you find out it cooks. Yes, a non-stick cooking plate, powered by a 1000W element, will roast fry and cook your ingredients, and when you add liquid into the mix, it will simmer and boil it. Its design is surprisingly light, and coupled with the overhanging edges on the motor base, it is easy to pick up and move around too. And because the thermal glass jar is removable from the motor base it can be stored somewhere separately, relieving countertop space.
The glass jar has an air tight lid that incorporates a removable measuring cup too. Waring have chosen the black and silver exterior design colours which are a popular combination for kitchen appliances and we think its overall design looks smart.
The front control panel has been designed to display key controls. The rotatable dial controls the three blend speeds when twisted clockwise, and if twisted anticlockwise from the off position it will pulse the content in the jug. Bottom left of this dial is an on and off button and on the right is a button that stirs the contents of the Soup Maker. Under this are a pad of buttons, the top two set the timer and the three buttons underneath appoint the heat to high, low and simmer modes.
Soup isn't the only thing you can use the Waring Soup Maker for, you can also use it as a regular blender, and its 500W motor is definitely strong enough to be a dedicated kitchen blender. On the highest speed setting its stainless steel blades cut through ice to turn it into slush in seconds and it also makes thick smoothies and milkshakes which we're dangerously partial to. So if you purchase this you're also getting a terrific blender.
So to put the Waring Soup Maker to the test we made a variety of soups and sauces. To inspire the new owner a recipe book with 43 recipes is included, but the one we're using to demonstrate the Waring Soup Maker'sabilities within this review is our own pumpkin soup, as Halloween was just a few days ago. So the first thing to do in this recipe was to fry grated nutmeg and fresh root ginger within oil on a low heat for a few minutes. Then we added the carrots, celery, onion, potato and pumpkin into the jug, still on a low heat to sweat for around 20 minutes, until the vegetables were soft. Stock, seasoning, salt and pepper were added to the mixture and we used the stir function to mix the seasoning into the soup which is quite effective but only works when the mixture is soft, this way it avoids blending the soup prematurely.
At this point we popped the lid on and left the mixture to simmer for a further 20 minutes. We should point out that operational noise whilst the soup cooked was generally quiet, just a very faint bubbling. Once the timer was beeping on completion, we blended the soup on speed setting two for 20-30 seconds, to achieve a smooth texture. Now it's important to note that you can't fill the entire jug with soup, that's reserved for other things, there's a max fill line of 1.4L (which is easily enough to feed a family of four), to allow the soup to adequately cook and blend.
The finished soup was creamy, perfectly cooked and seasoned. Everyone agreed that it tasted homemade! And this has been the scenario for all the soups we've made. It really does simplify the art of homemade soup making by being an all-in-one solution that isn't at all overly scary to operate. On occasion you may have to rework recipes for the Soup Maker; for instance, if a recipe requires the frying or sautéing of ingredients after liquid is in the Soup Maker, just complete that step first.
Thermal Glass Jar
Its thermal 1.75L glass jar and removable lid truly lock the heat in effectively, we could take more soup within an hour from it being heated and it would still be warm enough to eat. For this reason it's rather airtight too, which we discovered made the thermal glass jar a place to store soup within. We found this out accidentally, when soup left for a few days did not go mouldy as expected, but this us probably not something anticipated by the makers of the machine.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the review, cleaning up after making soup can be an off-putting aspect which could definitely discourage some from even starting to embark on the soup making process. So when we read in the manual that the Waring Soup Maker had a self cleaning function, we were actually looking forward to cleaning just to see it do this. The way it works is pretty simple, add 0.5L of water in the glass jug, a squirt of washing up liquid and leave the Soup Maker to simmer for 2 minutes. When the timer has ended, blend the liquid for 1 minute on speed 1. We needed to repeat the process once more and sure enough the glass jug was clean. Unfortunately it doesn't dry itself, but hey, this is the easiest part about traditional washing up.
As the world spins the dark earlier and earlier into the daytime and the winter cold creeps into our houses, something like the Waring Soup Maker may be just what's needed to brighten and warm up your day.