There’s a certain smug feeling when you sit down to eat a bowl of homemade, comforting soup. It helps that it’s also super healthy and generally much cheaper than shop-bought soups. And while soup might seem like a faff to make, there are wonderful soup makers that make the whole thing incredibly quick, easy and mess-free.
These clever kitchen gadgets cook your ingredients and then blend them so you end up with the perfect bowl of soup in a matter of 30 minutes. Plus, you can set them up and leave it to work its magic.
Many soup makers have handy functions, such as a keep-warm function that keeps the soup at a perfect temperature for eating after it’s blended. We found this really helpful. We just chucked the ingredients in, hit a setting and it’d be ready for us, piping hot, at lunchtime.
Another important function is consistency. Not all soups should be smooth, and most soup makers have the option to select smooth or chunky, and will then blitz your ingredients to your desired thickness. If you want a greater degree of control, some soup makers also have manual settings too.
The volume you can fit in a soup maker varies from model to model. Some can only cope with making a batch of soup for two servings, whereas others can serve up enough for a large family. If you’re a smaller household, it still might be worth investing in a larger capacity machine if you ever host larger gatherings.
And look out for the jug too – many are clear, with measurements on the outside, which makes for loading up the soup maker easy, as well as letting you check on the soup’s progress. Other jugs are made from metal, which might make them lighter to lift but obviously trickier to see what’s going on.
We recommend going for a soup maker that allows you to add ingredients in stages. Many soup recipes will see you add ingredients towards to end of the process – cream, crème fraiche et al – so having a hatch in the lid is very handy.
How we tested
To find the best soup makers we made seemingly endless batches of soup, from chunky lentil soups to smooth and creamy tomato – and everything in between. We looked at how easy they were to both use and clean, how heavy the jugs were, and essentially if they really took the work out of soup-making for us. We also looked at how versatile the gadgets were – if they had a range of functions to justify real estate in our kitchen, or if they were a one-trick pony. Now it’s time to dish up the intel we gathered…
The best soup makers for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Lakeland touchscreen soup maker: £129.99, Lakeland.co.uk
- Best for small households – Morphy Richards clarity soup maker: £69.99, Morphyrichards.co.uk
- Best budget buy – Neo 4-in-1 digital soup maker: £49.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for chunky soups – Lakeland digital soup maker: £79.99, Lakeland.co.uk
- Best for silky, smooth soups – Scott simplissimo chef all-in-one cook blender: £69.99, Wayfair.co.uk
- Best commercial-grade soup maker – Sage the super Q blender: £599.95, Sageappliances.com
- Best multi-use soup maker –BioChef aurora vacuum blender & soup maker: £314, Vitality4life.co.uk
Lakeland touchscreen soup maker
We were thoroughly impressed by this high-end machine. There are options for chunky or smooth soups or you can set it to your own specifications. The soup maker can handle temperatures 75-100C, and has three blending speeds to let you take control. This is all controlled from a really easy-to-read LED touchscreen.
When we were itching for lunch (any time from 10am onwards, if we’re honest), we could check how long the soup would be on the countdown timer. Plus, it kept our soup warm until we were ready for it, to a good temperature. There’s also an option to blend without heating, which is great for making sauces, dips and curry pastes.
We also loved the cleaning function on this one – just add some warm water, a few drops of washing up liquid and hit clean. This took more than the worst of the clean up off us, and allowed us just to rinse the jug (which is quite heavy) and dry.
Morphy Richards clarity soup maker
Best: For small households
Similar in design to a kettle, you plug it in, stick your ingredients in and then the blade is attached to the lid, which you obviously pop on before starting. We liked the glass jug, so we could see the quantities we were adding. However, we had a bit of trouble inserting the blade once all our ingredients were in the jug.
There are chunky and smooth options from the blender, and it made short work of all our recipes – producing silky, smooth soups in just over 20 minutes. The keep-warm function is great if you’re not quite ready when the soup is made. We did find it tricky to add in ingredients part way through however, as the timer reset and we could only manually blend the soup after this point.
After the soup making was done, the clean function got all the worst of the mess off, meaning clean up was pretty easy. This is a nice compact soup maker – ideal if you’ve not got much space in your kitchen, but love freshly made soup.
Neo 4-in-1 digital soup maker
Best: Budget buy
Neat and compact, this soup maker is great for smaller families and those who don’t have much space. The glass jug isn’t too heavy unlike some others we tried, and it’s useful to be able to see what you’re adding to the jug as it fills. There are chunky and smooth soup options, and we found it made a very decent soup indeed. We also liked the countdown function that glows brightly from the handle – useful so you don’t have to go over to where the soup maker is to check on progress.
It’s another soup maker where you insert the blade after filling the jug, which can be a bit fiddly. And it doesn’t have a hatch to add ingredients part way through. As the name suggests, you can also use this as just a blender for making sauces, smoothies or even cocktails (don’t worry it doesn’t warm up the ingredients on this setting).
Lakeland digital soup maker
Best: For chunky soups
We made some delicious soups with this gadget, even if we do say so ourselves. We found it made fantastic chunky soups, as well as decent smooth soups. It also has a steam function, which we thought was nifty – just pop veggies or fish in the little stainless steel basket with some water in the jug and hit the steam button.
We appreciate versatility in kitchen gadgets as who has the space for one gadget per task? Not us, sadly. The jug on this one is stainless steel, so it does get hot and it’s a bit trickier to see what you’re adding. But it does have a hatch in the lid to allow you to add ingredients, which we think is more important on balance.
Scott simplissimo chef all-in-one cook blender
Best: For silky, smooth soups
We are so in love with this gadget that it’s a bit embarrassing. We found it a total breeze to set up and use, and it turned out perfect soups every time. A rotary dial lets you select from chunky or smooth soup, as well as a sauce mode, ice crushing, steaming, cleaning, blending and manual functions. You can also use it to control the temperature and time on manual cooking mode. After you’ve selected your function then a countdown timer illuminates in the middle so you know exactly where you are. Once your soup is cooked, the soup maker switches to keep warm for 20 minutes.
The glass jug is on the heavier side, which isn’t great for washing up or getting out of the cupboard. But, it was good to see what we were adding, and a hatch in the lid let us add extra ingredients as we went along. This gadget also looks smart – it’s sleek and black, so it would look great if you just wanted to leave it out on the work surface. With all those functions you’d probably have it out more often than not anyway.
Sage the super Q blender
Best: Commercial-grade soup maker
Designed for both commercial and domestic use, the Super Q is quite literally a cut above most other blenders. The super powerful motor blends soup in a matter of minutes into the lightest, smoothest soup we’ve ever tried (it’s worth noting it can’t do chunky soups – minestrone lovers look elsewhere). The resulting soup was so good we actually couldn’t believe we’d made it ourselves.
A glass jar and hatch in the lid mean you can keep sight of what you are adding, the blending progress and you’re able to add in ingredients as you go. The super Q also has a noise reduction function, but it is still noisy by household standards – our young kids did not enjoy us using it. It was fantastic though for feeding our many children, as the jug capacity is a generous 2L. If you don’t want 2L of soup (and who are we to judge?) then there’s also a personal-sized jug attachment that makes a more modest 700ml.
We can’t ignore the hefty price tag on this blender, and for that reason, it’s clearly not going to be for everyone. But it does also whip up smoothies, frozen deserts (as long as the ingredient are already frozen), green juices and can turn chunks of ice into finely milled snow. There are 12 speed settings, so you have a greater degree of control for making things like nut butters, dips, flour and grinding spices. Basically, this gadget will make short work of whatever you throw at it.
BioChef aurora vacuum blender and soup maker
Best: Multi-use soup maker
This is a real Swiss Army Knife of kitchen appliances. It has 10 programs allowing you to make everything from soups (natch), stews, milkshakes, nut milks to juices and smoothies. There are five settings for hot food, but we’re really testing for soup making here.
The powerful motor means you don’t have to faff about chopping your ingredients too much, which is great for a busy life. There are chunky and smooth options to choose from, and the aurora then actually has a heating element that heats up the food to 100C – watch it on the dial. This is different to most other blender/soup maker hybrids, that heat the food via friction from the blades. This results in a smooth soup where none of the bits are a tad, well, undercooked.
We found this blender easy to use – the dial has all the hot settings on one side, and the cold settings on the other. The warm settings then illuminate white once selected, and the cold ones blue meaning it’s pretty foolproof. Smooth soups took around 30 minutes, while chunky soups take a fraction longer. There’s a hatch on the top to add ingredients as you go along, and a pulse/clean function to get the worst of the clean up dealt with.
This blender comes with two jugs – one normal one, and one vacuum one. The vacuum one sucks air out of the jug before blending. The result is creamier, smoother soups and smoothies, and the flavours and nutrients are preserved too. Fancy.
The verdict: Soup makers
For a straight-up soup maker, the Lakeland touchscreen number can’t be beaten. However, if you’re after something a little more versatile then we’d point you towards the Scott simplissimo, which we thought was soup-er (we’re not even sorry).
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