I have loved the look of the Cuisinart Soup Maker since I first saw it but felt the price tag of £125-£132 (depending on where I saw it) was a bit too steep to justify buying something that I really didn't have counter space for and didn't have any idea of how often I would use it.
Well, recently I was lucky enough to be sent the Soup Maker from Cuisinart's PR agency (http://www.publicasity.com/ ) to try and to give a write up on here.
I must say that I really love this piece of equipment which has a permanent situation on my kitchen work top now - surprising how much you think you need on display until you need the space for such a thing of beauty! Saturday or Sunday has since become 'Soup Day' when I take out all the vegetables and anything else in the fridge that I want to use up before going shopping to re-stock for the coming week. I have now made half a dozen batches since I received the soup maker and each one seems to get better and better.
The most recent soup that I made last weekend, I started with sauteed onions, garlic, celery (all chopped into little pieces), then began a search of the fridge and added, carrots, cherry tomatoes, the celery top leafs, a vegetable stock cube, a vegetable oxo cube, 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes, a few glugs of L&P worcestershire sauce 1/2 jar My Secret Kitchen Tapenade (http://www.mysecretkitchen.co.uk/) and topped up to the line marked on the outside of the glass jug. I pressed the 'stir' button every 5-8 minutes to keep the mixture moving and when I thought it was ready turned the blender knob to the first position which leave the mixture thick but not too creamy.
It so easy to use this soup maker - it melts the butter or warms the oil, sautees the onions, garlic and celery,
starts to colour the remaining vegetables, brings the soup to a boil, simmers, stirs from time to time and purees the soup in the same glass jug with the minimum of personal intervention. You set the timer for how long you wish each task to take, for instance high heat (boil) for 15 minutes then simmer for another 15 minutes.
I often add one or two potatoes, peeled and chopped, to add to the final texture. Potatoes add a creaminess and smoothness to the final dish.
You can also make sauces, jams and loads more recipes out of the little cook book that comes with the soup maker. It is also a blender for cold liquids. I served the soup with home made garlic baguettes and bakes cammenbert for a lovely, warming lunch after some much needed gardening!
Mr R loves homemade soup for his lunches at work which means that each weekend a new batch of soup is created for the following week (you can of course put some in the freezer for a day when you don't have anything for lunch). There are so many vegetable combinations that it will be ages before I start adding meat and fish to my weekend creations! Think I need to use some parsnip in the next batch!