Knowing how to use a soup maker is not difficult. You will shortly discover that soup makers are amongst the easiest kitchen appliances to operate.
Making soup does not have to be complex. It should also not take too long before you have a wonderful meal there in front of you and your family.
However, we need to take you through different stages to make the most of your new appliance.
Firstly we will introduce you to what a soup maker does. We have then set out an easy step-by-step guide on using a basic soup maker, and finally, we will share some tips to use it at its full potential.
What Is a Soup Maker?
A soup maker can produce amazing meals and food in next to no time, all via a button. Simply fill the soup maker with veg, potatoes, and other ingredients and let it work its magic.
A soup maker can do more than just soups. It will sautè and blend, and it does so to such an extent that it could even produce smoothies, not differently from a smoothie maker. Of course, it will only make your soup smooth if the recipe calls for it, but you can also prepare chunky soup with it.
How Does a Soup Maker Work?
Almost all soup makers work in the same way as heating up things in a saucepan, but they also build up some pressure to speed up the process. Some have a sautè function and/or a blender built into the soup maker, so it saves you from getting out your hand blender once everything is cooked.
To get some amazing soup, you need to know how to use a soup maker. These simple instructions will make a huge difference whether you’re about to prepare a mushroom soup or a butternut squash soup.
How to Use a Soup Maker in 8 Steps
Step 1: Check the Instruction Manual
The first step is to check your instruction manual: this allows you to get to grips with your particular soup maker and its different functions.
This step is essential, as not all soup makers have the same options. For example, some may have a sauté function, which can make a difference in the final result, while others might miss that.
Also, it should provide warnings of things to avoid doing to stop you from damaging your soup maker.
Step 2: Prepare Your Ingredients
The next step is to prepare all of your ingredients according to the recipe you are planning. With so many soups, we cannot simply list all the different items you may use. Hearty soups will have different ingredients from lentil soup, so pay close attention to the recipe.
Also, this is when you need to consider how to cut your vegetables. Do you want small chunks that you will ultimately blend in for a smooth soup, or would you prefer a chunky soup?
Have everything ready before you even think about starting up your soup maker. The entire process goes quicker than you think, so you don’t want to be caught out.
When cutting up your different ingredients, try to make sure all of the different pieces are cut to roughly the same size. That applies to veg soups and if you plan to cook meat to add to certain recipes.
Cutting everything to the same size means your soup will have a certain consistency. Having large and small chunks mixed together will cause some parts to be softer than others, which doesn’t taste good.
Step 3: Sauté
Sauté means basically frying the ingredients – but this is not an essential step. In fact, it all comes down to either your soup recipe or your personal taste.
This is also where you must check if your soup maker has a sauté function.
If you use your soup maker to sauté some ingredients, always use oil. Either rapeseed oil or olive oil will suffice. The key here is to get the ingredients cooking and encourage them to release some of their flavours. Also, those flavours can then become part of your stock, and they generally make the entire soup taste better.
Step 4: Add the Ingredients to the Soup Maker
Now it’s time to start adding the ingredients to your soup machine. But don’t just throw everything in without giving it much thought. It’s very easy to overfill a soup machine, and that’s a bad idea. Instead, pay attention and check for lines on the inside of your soup maker.
Those lines tell you the maximum amount of ingredients you can place in the machine. Most soup makers make it very easy to identify these lines, but keep in mind that you need to add some hot liquid to the mix, so don’t just go filling it up with vegetables and meat.
Step 5: Add Your Stock
Stock makes such a difference, and that applies whether you make tomato soup, veg soup or anything else.
Once again, you must pay close attention to the maximum amount of liquid. You may even see this noted in your soup maker instructions, and that’s another reason you should read the instruction manual first.
By now, you should have all the ingredients in your soup maker, so it’s time to start cooking.
Step 6: Add the Lid and Choose a Program
As you are now good to go, you need to add the lid to your soup maker, then select the program according to whatever the soup maker recipes tell you to do.
But here is the best part.
Many soup makers have preset programs, depending on the type of soup you plan on making. When you use a soup maker, choose the correct program, as the maker itself will then go through different motions and functions.
That means that if you want a smooth soup, then your soup-making machine may use its own blending function to achieve this. Of course, if you want something chunkier, then make sure you use the correct cooking function.
Step 7: Give it Time to Cook
The cooking time for most soup makers is in the region of thirty minutes. Compare that to the standard equipment typically needed for cooking soup recipes, and you will see that this is really no time at all.
However, we have some tips below designed to help you get the most out of your cooking and ensure your vegetables are perfect.
Step 8: Season to Taste and Serve
The final step is to season your soup to taste and then serve it. If you have made a large batch, ensure you put your soup in an airtight container before storing it in the fridge.
Making the Most of Your Soup Maker: Useful Tips
And that is how to use a soup maker, but we have those tips to make life a bit easier for you.
Always Sauté Onions
If onions are in your recipe, then always sauté them first. It makes such a difference to the final flavour you get; this also applies to leeks, spring onions or garlic.
Use Cooked Meat Where Possible
Using cooked meat does speed up the entire cooking process, and it doesn’t change the flavour you can then achieve.
If recipes call for meat, then perhaps take the raw meat, cook it with other equipment, and then add it to the other soup maker contents. Also, you can keep some leftover meat from other meals and add that to your soup.
Completely Thaw Out Frozen Ingredients
If you plan on using frozen foods in your recipes, then one of our top tips is to make sure they are fully thawed before adding them to your soups. Frozen food won’t blend right, and it will stop your soup from being smooth.
Frozen foods may damage the blades that appear in the machine. If they become damaged, you won’t be able to make soups or smoothies in the future. So, it’s safer to thaw things out to stop running into problems later on.
Never Remove the Lid
Even though it’s tempting to peek in and see how your soup is coming along, leave it well alone. The soup maker knows when everything is cooked and doesn’t need your help.
The lid allows the soup maker to build the heat, and it needs that heat and pressure to ultimately produce your soup. If you open the lid, you lose all that heat in an instant.
Avoiding the Dreaded Soup Maker Burn
One thing you must pay attention to is avoiding burning the bottom of your soup maker. However, it’s actually pretty easy to do.
The key is to ensure you have enough liquid. Things will often burn if you try to cook too many solids compared to little in the way of hot stock. Keep in mind most soups require a lot of stock, so ensure you follow the recipe closely. If not, then don’t be surprised if things stick, and then you have a real problem in cleaning your soup machine.
But once the ingredients have been added and the lid closed, you do not have to worry.
Cleaning Your Soup Maker
Talking of cleaning, you want to make sure you do things right, so it’s all ready for the next recipe.
First, you want to wait until it has completely cooled down. Also, unplug it before you wash it.
Rinse as much of the leftover ingredients out of the soup maker before you start to clean. The inside is generally stainless steel, so you can certainly use some elbow grease. Also, consider soaking the inside in some soapy water for a while. That can help break down some of the marks and make the rest of the cleaning process a lot easier.
You wash your soup maker in the same way as a saucepan. It’s as easy as that.
You can fill your soup maker with any stock you want; it can be something you made yourself or store-bought. Alternatively, you can add some tomato puree and water if the recipe calls for it.
The key with stock is to fill the soup maker to the correct volume. As long as you do that, you will have no problem.
You Can Use Any Recipe
Don’t think you only have to use a soup maker recipe in this machine. Instead, you can use any soup recipe that you come across.
This is something you will become more accustomed to the more you use your soup maker. At that point, you will start to become more confident in the ability of the soup maker machine to actually produce a fantastic soup at the end.
So, our advice is to begin by sticking to recipes linked to your machine and then work towards using your own recipes.
Enjoy Using Your Soup Maker!
And that’s our tips on how to use a soup maker.
Having the ability to follow a simple soup maker recipe and get something tasty to eat at the end is amazing. Thanks to soup makers, the entire concept of soup-making being a time-consuming and challenging task has become a thing of the past.
Follow our different soup maker tips listed above, and look forward to having something extraordinary to eat for a quick and stress-free meal.
What’s your go-to recipe for your soup maker? Let us know below!
Tom is a former chef turned full-time food blogger. He has always been passionate about food, and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and sharing his recipes with others. Tom’s blog is one of the most popular food blogs on the internet, and he has won numerous awards for his cooking. When he’s not blogging or cooking, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.