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Top Tips For Using A Soup Maker

What are my top tips for using a soup maker?  Read on to find out.

Tomato Soup 8 Why Should You Use A Soup Maker?

For me, a soup maker was a welcome present from Morphy Richards, which has seen a labour of love grow from early beginnings.

Morphy Richards now have a new machine on the go, which seems to have a sauté base, so I covet that version at the moment.  For now, I will stick with my kettle version of a soup maker.

I imagine that if you are looking for soup maker recipes, that you already own a machine, but if you don’t, there are major differences between the two styles that prevail.

Types of Soup Maker

Kettle / Jug Type

This is like the version that I have.  It resembles a large kettle, but you cannot see the inside of it while the soup cooks.  You do need to use the minimum and maximum settings on the kettle to make sure you have the right amount of ingredients and fluid in your soup maker. My version can also make smoothies, which is a very welcome thing indeed.  The blender attachment is in the top of the kettle, which makes for very easy cleaning.

Blender Type

These versions tend to be slightly more expensive.  They can often sauté onions and vegetables, but with the kettle versions catching up, that benefit will soon be wiped out.

These usually resemble a traditional counter top blender, with the blending tool in the bottom of the glass.  They are said to be more difficult to clean, but I cannot vouch for that.  You really would have to find out for yourself.

Considerations For Buying A Soup Maker

Decide what SIZE of soup maker you will need.  My version makes soup from 1.3 – 1.6 litres.  If you are only making soup for one person, you might be fine with a small quantity soup maker, or simply freeze what you have made for another day.

Different SETTINGS do made a difference.  I wanted the option to have both smooth and chunky soup from my soup maker.  The smoothie function was an added bonus.  It isn’t obvious when you look at some versions, but reading more deeply into functions and settings, you might find the one you are coveting cannot do one or the other.

If you want ease of CLEANING, then you have no option but to read through the reviews of people who have owned soup makers.  I have only suffered from one burnt bottom of the pan, and that was my own fault, as I forgot to stir the ingredients with the fluid before I popped on the lid.   It is worth nothing though, that even though the bottom did burn, just a little….a ten minute soak with hot soapy water, and it scrubbed off no problem.

Soup Maker Tips and Tricks

  • Prepare as much of your ingredients as possible in advance. Considering that most of my recipes are simply chop and plop, it’s quite easy to do.
  • Use boiling water for your stock, or liquid addition. I find that if I use it cold from the tap that the vegetables may not be fully cooked when the soup is ready.  Starting with hot stock, gives it a great chance to add more flavour and taste.
  • If you plan to use anything frozen, make sure the ingredients are fully thawed first.
  • Make sure all meat that goes into the soup maker is pre-cooked. Soup makers do not have long enough settings to cook your meat.
  • Chop your ingredients into small pieces, especially potatoes, carrots and turnip. This allows the vegetables to fully cook in the short soup maker cycle.
  • Ensure the lid is fully closed or sealed.
  • Do NOT open the lid during cooking. If you do you may find yourself splattered with very hot liquid.
  • Some soup makers have a strong pulse setting. I’ve seen many people recommend holding down the lid, to avoid soup being pushed up and out of the blender.  I do not have this problem with my version, but remember to check out the possibilities of your own.
  • Follow your manufacturers minimum and maximum guidelines. My jug has these clearly marked on the inside of my machine.
  • Do not submerge your soup maker fully in water to clean.  Follow your instructions to the letter, or you may short out your machine.
  • Follow your manufacturers instructions for cooking, cleaning and maintenance.


  1. NEVER fill your soup maker past its manufacturers recommendation or outside the minimum and maximum fill levels.
  2. Do NOT immerse any parts of your soup maker fully in water.
  3. Keep soup makers and kettles away from the edges of counters, especially if you have children, to avoid them being dragged over the edge.
  4. Do not be tempted to open the lid during cooking. The soup maker contents may explode over you.
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Guest Post: Parenting Across Scotland – Top Tips Resources

We all know that being a parent is extremely rewarding. But there are many decisions, concerns and worries that often come in to play along the way – starting at birth and continuing right through to the teenage years.

This is why Parenting Across Scotland, a partnership of charities working together to provide a focus for issues and concerns affecting parents and families, has created resources that offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for parents.

Parenting Across Scotland

The charity has produced a range of six ‘top ten tips’ booklets for key stages in a child’s life – easy, digestible key pieces of information to help parents on their journey.

The resources aim to give parents key advice on topics such as sleep for babies, playing with your child, starting primary school, starting high school and teenagers.

Working in partnership with various organisations such as Sleep Scotland, Play Scotland and Healthy Respect, the charity’s tips provide a great starting point for any parent looking for a bit of friendly guidance.

Clare Simpson, Project Manager at Parenting Across Scotland, said: “We know that parents across the country all want to do what’s best for their children. Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual so parents are going to have concerns and questions at different stages of their child’s life – it’s only natural, and healthy.”

She added: “With so much information out there about what to do and what not to do it can be hugely overwhelming. With our ‘top tips’ resources we’ve drilled all this information down to focus on key pieces of bite size advice to make everything much simpler. We’ve chosen topics that we know from experience raise a lot of questions from parents.”

As well as offering advice the tips also offer reassurance.

One parent from Edinburgh who has used the resource for teenagers said: “Every time I hear my teenager’s bedroom door slam I think of the tips and remember ‘conflict is normal’ – it just gives me a minute to calm down.”

The full list of top tip topics include:

  • Sleep: babies and toddlers – covering routines, helping your child to settle themselves.
  • Starting primary school (also available in an ‘easy read’ version) – visiting the school, encouragement.
  • Starting high school – talking and listening, physical changes.
  • Child’s play – messy play, outdoor play.
  • Parenting teenagers – conflict, respecting their views.
  • Sex, relationships and teenagers – being truthful and honest, sharing stories.

The resources are completely free and can be downloaded from the Parenting Across Scotland website:

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Top Tips for Baking the Perfect Cupcakes


1. Use the minimum of utensils and keep your ingredients list reasonable.

I have a habit of making a huge mess of the kitchen when I am cooking, and with 6 mouths to feed, the kitchen can look like a bomb site quite easily.  I have got cup cake making down to a fine art with only my mixer, a cup, a dessert spoon and a knife at the ready.  I use no bowls whatsoever and just put everything straight into the mixer.

2 – Choosing Ingredients

Use the best ingredients you can afford.  It does make a difference.  The quality of flours can be quite different when you have your finished cup cakes.   If you’re using chocolate, use real chocolate and not the cooking kind that nobody really likes.  For chocolate powder, splash out on something like Green and Blacks Cocoa powder and not cheaper versions with fillers, and you’ll be very glad you did.

Use unsalted butter instead of margarine.  I really don’t understand the margarine or spread brigade as I’d rather have a little less of the real stuff than a heap of manufactured fats full of additives and other difficult to pronounce ingredients.

Baking really is a case of getting the mix of ingredients right.  As long as you add butter, sugar and flour at the same proportions and 1 egg for each 120g of any one of the other ingredients, you should be fine.

3 – The Mixing Moments

How much to mix is always a big issue with cup cake chefs.   I do have my mixer on at a fairly low-speed for a couple of minutes and then I turn it up high for the last little while at the sugar and butter stage to try to blast some air into the mix.

4 – When to Add the Ingredients

I’m going to go completely against the grain here.

Sifting the flour in can add extra air, but I suspect most home bakers don’t bother.  I am not telling you that I actually follow the rule for sifting flour into the mixer, as there are times when I don’t.  I’ve never had complaints from not sifting and my cakes seem to be as light as when I do sift, but I can often hear my grandmother in the background nipping my ears for not doing it right.  Guilt will sometimes make me reach for the sieve.

If you’re really brave like my sister-in-law, you can throw everything in the mixer at the same time and just mix until it’s ready to spoon into cases.

5 – Get the mix even in the cases.

This one is common sense.  If some cases have more mix than others, some will be cooked more quickly than the rest.  Try using a standard sized spoon or scoop to get the same amount of cake mix in each cup cake case.

6 – How to know if it’s mixed.

The consistency should be creamy and not like Scottish Tablet with a grainy consistency.

7 – Work your oven.

It takes a while to get to understand a new oven.  Each one works differently and gives different results.  If you know your oven tends to run hotter or colder than recipes usually ask for, change your baking time.   Use a skewer to know when they are ready.  If a skewer comes out clean, then the cakes are ready.

Resist the temptation to open the oven part of the way through cooking.  Your cakes may well just fall flat as a pancake…

8 – It’s disaster time..

Cakes that don’t look perfect are rarely a disaster.  Make a form of Eton Mess using the sponge, or change a bread and butter pudding recipe, or cover it all up with icing.  If it tastes great, then it doesn’t matter what it looks like.