I was a bit suspicious as I was browsing through the recipe book, trying to decide what to make first. All the recipes seem to ask for vegetables to be ‘chopped’, ‘chopped into cubes’ or ‘sliced’. For me prepping veggies is the most annoying part about cooking pretty much anything (see my review of Tefal’s Cook4Me), so if that wasn’t where the Easy soup was making things easy, what could it possibly be? I mean it’s really not that difficult to add some chopped vegetables and meat to a pot with some stock, cook for a bit and then blitz it all up with a hand blender. Voila. Hot soup. One pot to clean, one hand blender to rinse under the tap. Done.
With these prejudices firmly in place, I settled on the ‘Creamy orange and butternut squash soup’. Perhaps I was just trying to prove myself right by choosing a soup that required me to peel and chop a butternut – it would’ve been much simpler to cut up some carrots or courgettes. However, once everything is actually prepped and added to the soup-maker it’s mostly hands off. You just select the ‘creamed soup’ setting and you can completely ignore it for 25 minutes or so until you hear the little ping telling you your soup is ready. No frying onions, no bringing anything to boil and then turning down the heat to a simmer, no getting the hand blender out. When your soup’s ready, the Easy soup will even keep it warm for up to 40 mins until you’re ready to enjoy it. And I was really impressed by the smoothness and taste of the butternut soup. So while it may not really be much faster than a typical stove top recipe, it would definitely be useful if you’re preparing several other dishes as well. It is a bit concerning that there’s no way to lock the lid in place, so if the soup maker does get accidentally knocked over, by a curious cat perhaps, you’re likely to have a very messy kitchen.
One pot to clean, one hand blender to rinse under the tap. Done.
Don’t be fooled by the name. The Easy soup may be a soup-maker, but it’s also great for smoothies. Or even cocktails! I made a lassi with mint and also a strawberry and cinnamon smoothie. Have no fear – there will be no hot smoothies. Just add all the ingredients – even ice blocks if you like – and choose the ‘blend’ setting. Again, you it’s hands off till the beep when you’ll have a perfectly smooth and fresh drink. Quite useful if you’re rushing around in the morning trying to get ready.
Cleaning is pretty simple too. The Easy soup has an ‘easy clean’ setting too. Just add hot tap water, choose the ‘easy clean’ setting. With both the soup and the smoothie there was still a bit of residue left after the easy clean which needed to be wiped down. Also, it’s best to clean as soon as possible after use or it’ll be harder to remove dried up bits of food.
This could be a good gadget to have around if you’re watching what you eat, but don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. You know exactly what’s in your soups so it’s also good if you have specific dietary restrictions and also if you want to get creative with your own soup and smoothie creations. You can even get around the food prep by just buying your veggies already peeled and chopped.
Tefal Easy Soup Automatic Soup Maker out April 10, 2015 with an RRP of £80.