Using a soup maker is simple.
How To Use A Soup Maker [In Brief]
- Fill your soup maker’s pot
- Select the mode
- Let the machine do the rest
Soup makers can be multifunctional—you can make soup, purees, smoothies, milkshakes, and even ice cream.
I love soup. Whether it’s a cold evening, when I’m down with the flu, when my tummy’s acting up, or when my old soul craves the comfort of home in a bowl, soup has always been my pick-me-up.
And why not? Apart from being nourishing and nutritious (all those veggies have to be), soup is among the culinary world's easiest, quickest, and no-nonsense examples. What magic a little water, meat and/or veggies (including leftovers), seasoning, and a little time can create!
However, I get that you won’t always have the time to cook soup on your stovetop—the process can be quite long and require constant monitoring to ensure that your soup remains a soup and doesn’t turn into gravy or, worse, another layer of your utensil’s base.
Giving up the old-fashioned way and investing in a new soup maker does have its benefits, with respect to the above and more. But if this is your first time using a soup maker, confusion about how to use your snazzy new device is all too common and completely alright—and to sort it out is why I’m here!
Here's a detailed beginner's guide to using a soup maker from all my experiments and journeys with my trusty, lean, mean soup-making machine.
- A Guide To Using A Soup Maker
- Using Your Soup Maker
A Guide To Using A Soup Maker
Instead of boiling water, veggies, and meat on the stovetop and waiting patiently for your stove to turn the ingredients into a soup, you can just put all of this in your soup maker and have it do the work for you.
In addition to this, a soup maker can give the following benefits:
- Save you a lot of energy, especially on those long days of work or simply just adulting
- Free up your time so that you can spend it elsewhere as you please—cleaning up is also easier and faster because there’s only one pot to clean
- Give you quick results, as most soup makers only take between 20 and 30 minutes to whip up your meal
- Save you a lot of effort, as you don’t have to manually blend your ingredients, monitor your soup to ensure that it doesn’t boil over, worry about the recipe, or reheat it if you don’t want to eat it right away—your soup maker will do all of it, including remembering your recipe, so all the effort that is required from you is tapping a button
- Save you money that you’d otherwise be spending on pre-cooked soup, expensive baby food, fancy smoothies, dips, sauces, and exciting drinks (yes, a soup maker can cook up all of these!)
There are different kinds, each featuring its own features and limitations, such as different blend settings to make everything from a smoothie to a French onion soup, the cooking time, and, of course, the capacity.
Using Your Soup Maker
Using your soup maker couldn’t be simpler. It’s all quite intuitive.
Depending on the model of your soup maker, you’ll have one that’s either kettle-shaped or mug-shaped. Don’t worry about this—both types mostly have the same functions and features, and in any case, the shape doesn’t affect the device’s efficiency.
Your soup maker will also have different modes—basic ones typically have very few modes. In contrast, more advanced soup makers may feature many more, such as a memory function that can store your recipes for consistent results, a “Keep Warm” function, etc.
Most soup makers, though, even basic ones, will feature “Chunky”, “Cool” (for smoothies), and “Smooth” modes.
To get started on your soup-maker soup, chop up your veggies and other ingredients and throw them into the soup pot. Rough chopping will do. Choose the mode based on what type of soup you want (make sure you’ve also put in the right ingredients for this—you can’t use water and expect your soup maker to turn it into cream!).
Choosing the mode may entail using a touch-screen LED display or the more old-fashioned button. Once you’ve chosen the mode, it’s as simple as just curling up with a book or “Netflix and chill” until your soup maker tells you your soup is ready!
(If you use many solid ingredients, you may need to stir your soup occasionally.)
If Netflix or your book is holding your attention longer than expected, don’t worry about it—many soup makers have a “Keep Warm” function that will keep your soup fresh and warm till you’re ready to eat it.
Why Does My Soup Maker’s Bottom Burn?
One of the most common issues that most beginners face with a soup maker is burning at the bottom.
I also grappled with it initially, but I eventually figured that burning happens for two reasons—one is that the temperature is too high. The second is that the solid-to-liquid ratio is off, which makes your soup thicker and causes it to burn unless you give it the occasional stir.
However, newer soup maker models have the answer to your burning woes in the form of an intelligent function that prevents burning, so it’s worth picking up one of these if you haven’t yet invested in a soup maker.
Even so, always have enough stock or liquid in your soup. You can also lightly grease the bottom of your soup maker with oil to prevent sticking and burning, and when you add in your ingredients, give them a nice stir to ensure that no solids are resting on the bottom before the cooking starts.
Check out this link for a full list of soup maker dos and don'ts
Cleaning The Burnt Soup
Let’s say you’re reading this too late, and you already have burnt soup to contend with—how do you clean this off?
Simple—fill the soup pot with a mixture of soap and hot water, let it soak for about 15 minutes, and then get to work with a coarse sponge (since you’ve let it soak, there shouldn’t be too much scrubbing involved unless there are extremely stubborn spots).
Again, some new models come with an easy cleaning mode that makes cleaning up even easier.
What Else Can You Make In A Soup Maker?
Your soup maker can whip up a whole range of other stuff.
- Milkshakes: Since a soup maker can easily blend things, it can just as efficiently make you a milkshake as a soup. Just blend some milk, flavour, and ice cream, and voila! You have a delicious milkshake ready.
- Smoothies: Your soup maker can also make smoothies like milkshakes. Most soup makers have a separate smoothie mode (often labelled “Cool”).
However, the motor power matters, which means that some soup makers are more powerful and can make smoother smoothies.
- Purees: Whether it’s food for your tot or you want a vegetable pureed for a dish, most soup makers come with puree-preparing capabilities. You can also make large batches of puree and save them for the future.
- Sauces and Dips: Soup makers can easily create dips and sauces. However, ensure you’re not adding too much milk to your sauce or dip, as the milk can settle at the bottom and cause it to burn.
- Ice Creams: Though this one’s a bit of a stretch, it’s perfect for craving homemade ice cream and having no other options! Your soup maker can perfectly blend the ingredients for your ice cream just like an ice cream maker; you can freeze and enjoy this.
- Meat: Of the people I know, some have been successful at this venture while others have failed, so it’s a draw. However, I wouldn’t suggest using your soup maker to cook meat unless you’re desperate, and even then, no more than 200 grams of small chunks.
I always cook my meat separately before adding it to my soup maker; even better, I use leftover meats from my week’s meals so I don’t have the additional burden of cooking meat.
Should You Sauté Your Meat and Vegetables?
This comes down to a matter of personal preference and taste. In my opinion, lightly sautéing your ingredients before popping them into the soup maker enhances the flavour and intensifies the taste, especially if you’re using pungents like spices, garlic, and onions.
Can I Use Frozen Ingredients in a Soup Maker?
This depends on your soup maker’s power and make. Up to 100 grams of frozen vegetables should be fine, but ensure that these are cut into chunks that are about three-fourths of an inch. Otherwise, your frozen veggies may not thaw and cook completely.
However, avoid this as much as you can, as frozen food may damage your soup maker’s blade. Also, directly putting frozen meat in a soup maker is a huge “no” for me and I would highly recommend the same for you—it’s not worth the risk of improper cooking and blade damage.
Do You Put the Water in First in a Soup Maker?
Pouring in the water first is the most efficient way to do it. Boiling the water before pouring it into your soup maker will ensure that your solid ingredients are better cooked, especially some of the tough ones.
Can I Use Tomato Sauce or Passata in a Soup Maker?
Thick pastes like passata and tomato sauce present the risk of burning your soup maker’s bottom. If you don’t mind monitoring your soup, you can use these. A good tip is to add a little water or stock to the sauce and stir nicely to reduce the chances of burning.