It’s that time of the year – the nights are growing longer, the weather is unpredictable, and your family come and go at all times of the day with different school and working patterns. Not only that, our wallets are being affected by what seems to be a never-ending economic crisis and we are all having to think about feeding our families to the best of our ability.
Sitting in your cupboard is an ‘unwanted present’, something you were always going to use, but never did – a soupmaker! A perfect present that somehow was edged to the back of your storage and never again saw the light of day.
Winter doesn’t have to be a time of ‘no choices.’ There are a wealth of fabulous vegetables that grow prolifically in the autumn and winter months, with so many nuances of flavour and texture. You can do so much, particularly if you have an array of seasonings and spices too. Not only that, you can be assured of keeping your family healthy with good, wholesome food.
Why use a soupmaker?
Nobody has to use anything, but a soupmaker is very much a ‘chop it up and throw it in’ kind of tool, similar to using a crockpot. You can walk away and leave it whilst its on the go, giving you some more time to get on with other essential chores. Depending what model you have, it will make incredible soups and do the best that it can. There are some very sophisticated models on the market, but it’s not essential to have an ‘all singing, all dancing’ variety.
Most soupmakers act as a blender, whilst cooking your ingredients at the same time. Again, the efficiency of your tool will depend on the make, but even the basic version will produce a tasty soup. A basic model will allow you to:
- Blend your ingredients
- Warming facility once soup is cooked (great for a household who are never all together, or rarely)
- It’s all in one, and will blend, cook and mix to provide a beautiful soup.
If you have a more elaborate one, it will have other facilities that make life a breeze in terms of time-saving and indeed, economy. Less washing up as well, a total bonus!
Tips for using a soupmaker
Whilst having a soupmaker makes the art of tasty soups so, sooo easy (even if you are an amateur), you do need to take care whilst using it. The most important aspect is that if you want to make more of a stew than a soup, that includes meat, the meat MUST be cooked beforehand. Virtually all soupmakers do not have the ability to cook meat thoroughly, so if you want to make a stew, cook all your veggies, herbs, spices etc first, then put in an cooked meat to keep warm and infuse the flavours.
Another essential tip is to make sure (if you are going to throw in any frozen veg, not fresh veg into your soup) you thaw them before use. Most manufacturers give you a full instructions list, so do read it first.
There are also some models that will blitz, as opposed to slow-blend, and can also crush up ice. Some will even saute your veg – but a basic soupmaker really is all you need to put a delicious soup on your table.
Making broths, soups and sauces in a soupmaker
Clear broths, chunky veggie soups and even sauces can be made with a soupmaker. Start with some easy ones with winter veg, and get more adventurous as you go along. Normally, a manufacturers leaflet will give you the basic ideas, and if you want to progress, there are plenty of ‘soup cookbooks’ or downloads to find on the web. Of course, don’t forget our SIMPLY SOUPERLICIOUS recipes you can find on our website, you can’t go wrong with these!
The only other things to remember are that this is an electrical piece of equipment, so it must never be plunged wholly into water to clean, and to make sure you set it up on a stable surface with the lid put on tight.
If you grow your own veggies, and you have an overload at any one time, you can make up your soups and freeze them in advance. Then you will always have something nourishing to put on the table once you defrost and reheat.
Good luck and happy soupmaking!