Soup was one of the first things I learned to cook. I would spend hours in the kitchen methodically chopping, sautéing, and stirring ingredients as the house filled with the warm, comforting aroma of my mother’s signature chicken soup. As I got older, I lost the patience required to make soup from scratch so resorted to store-bought broths instead. My family bought me the Smart Living Soup Maker as a lighthearted Christmas gift – a nod to my love of time-saving gadgets (my cupboards groan under the weight of kitchen appliances) but this soup maker easily outperforms its costly cupboard companions.
The Smart Living Soup Maker is compact but can produce up to 1.6 liters of soup – enough to feed six people as an appetizer. Or one very hungry soup lover. It’s shaped like an electric kettle or oversized Thermos flask and takes up way less room in your kitchen than a large stock pot. A heated element in the base cooks the food, and the lid has a long blending blade that reaches into the jug to blitz food to a smooth texture if required. No need for pots, spoons and a stick blender to make the perfect soup – this machine does everything for you. There’s also a cold blending function so you can make smoothies and shakes too.
The best thing about the soup maker is you just set it and forget it, with no intervention or stirring needed. The only effort required is choosing a recipe and chopping your vegetables. The process is idiot-proof: just add your ingredients, put the lid on and select your preferred setting – chunky or smooth. The chunky setting is great for a hearty, thick soup; the smooth option pulses your soup with the blending blade to a velvety consistency. Each program takes less than 30 minutes and unlike regular soup-making there’s only one piece of equipment to clean after cooking.
When I’m time-poor, the soup maker is the fastest way to give me that instant hit of comfort – food that’s like an edible hug. It’s also a great way to sneak extra vegetables into your diet. I live off soup for almost half the year and have made dozens of variations on family recipes and some more experimental concoctions. The best thing is if you do make a bad batch because you’ve accidentally added a bunch of cinnamon instead of cumin (a mistake I guarantee you will only make once) you can have a new batch whipped up in half an hour. | Get it on Amazon >
Scouted is internet shopping with a pulse. Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations and exclusive content. Don’t forget to check out our coupon site to find great deals from your favorite brands. Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.