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Easy soup maker from Salter
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It looks rather like an oversize electric kettle and consists of a stainless steel body with black handle and lid. The motor unit, with its attached blender blade is built into the lid. It is supplied with measuring jug, cleaning brush and instruction booklet.
It is quite simple to use. There are twenty recipes in the 36-page instruction booklet which will provide useful starting suggestions even though many will have their own favourite recipes. All one has to do is to put the ingredients into the machine, add fluid up to the correct level, replace the lid, plug in the soup maker and select the appropriate program and sit back and wait for about half an hour.
Push-buttons on the lid are marked Puree, Chunky and Blend/Clean. With the former – and it does produce a very satisfactory puree -- the motor runs at intervals so that the result is a blended ready to eat soup. The blending function does not operate when making a chunky soup. Ideally, one should chop up the ingredients to the correct size before making the soup or use a supermarket Soup Mix where the ingredients are already in conveniently small bits. If, however, a finished soup is too chunky, press the blend/clean button for one or two short bursts to obtain a more suitable consistency.
The fluid level marks on the machine are at 1,300 and 1,600 ml (46 and 56 fl. oz.) to ensure that the blender blade is well covered and the overfill sensor is not triggered. This gives 6 to 8 good portions. It should be noted that there is a trap for the unwary as recipes do not always specify the correct amount of fluid so that one may have to add more fluid to bring it up to the required level.
Once the machine has beeped to indicate that it has finished its cycle, and the soup is ready for the table (or poured into a saucepan for later use) it can be unplugged and the lid of the machine removed. To avoid drips of soup on the workbench, one can stand the machine's lid on the supplied measuring jug. By the way, it would have been useful if the provided jug, which has marking at 500, 1,000 and 1,500 ml, also had markings at 1,300 and 1,600 ml to make it more convenient when preparing one's ingredients. Similarly, it would also have been useful if, as all recipe illustrations showed the soups with a garnish, there were recommendations for garnishes.
Once the machine had cooled it was very easy to clean. The instructions stress the importance of not getting the electrics wet.
Overall, the Salter Electric soup maker is a quick and easy means of making very tasty soups and as such will be of use to all busy people – as well as those who have never previously made a soup. And one can save even more time, cut down the effort (and even reducing wastage of throwing away unused raw ingredients) by using a supermarket soup mix. The only downside is the fact the amount of soup that it makes might be inconveniently large for a small family which can't find space in the fridge (or freezer) to store what is unused for later consumption. Priced at around £69.99 but available on offer from Robert Dyas at £49.99 and on Amazon at £44.99 it represents good value for money.
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