By Jo Cooksey
Who doesn’t love a kitchen a gadget? I certainly do. I love cooking but if there is a time saving solution I’m at the front of the queue.
Obviously, there are the ones you think will change your life but just end up cluttering your cupboards. Whose spiraliser has seen the light of day in the last 12 months? But then there are the ones you wouldn’t be without. In my case, my Kenwood Chef, chefs’ knives and mini food processor are in almost constant use.
So, when online seller, VonShef, asked me if I’d like to road test a couple of their products I eagerly accepted. Just before Christmas two parcels arrived; one held a set of five food containers in assorted sizes and in the other a multifunctional digital soup maker.
The food containers were going to come in very handy as I regularly batch cook for the freezer and often use them for transporting my lunches to the office. I really rated these for the simple fact that they are glass, with snap on lids. The glass is safe for use in the freezer, in the oven up to 220℃, in the microwave and the dishwasher. The glass part is obviously fully recyclable, a big consideration in our house. The lids, whilst being plastic are BPA free, which makes them safer for food use. The containers also come with a two-year extended warranty* and retail at £17.99.
Homemade soup is a staple in my house, particularly in the winter months and I make a mean Pea & Ham and a seasonal Pumpkin & Red Pepper for Halloween. The chicken carcass always finds its way into the pot, as does the Christmas turkey, to make ‘Jewish penicillin.’ As I make soup so often, I wasn’t sure at first how the digital soup maker could enhance my experience. I still had to chop the veg to go in it, although you could use ready chopped veg from the supermarket for midweek convenience.
However, the beauty of this appliance is once you have put your ingredients in, you press the button, walk away and get on with something else. Like sitting on the sofa, with a brew, some biccies and your favourite magazine or boxset. Or in my case walking the dogs.
When I tested it, I did a fridge and larder hunt and came up with a couple of sweet potatoes, a butternut squash and curry spices. The handbook that comes with it says to cut the veg into 2/3cm chunks, so nothing too fiddly. I threw in an onion, a clove of garlic, veg stock, and spices. Decided whether I wanted the final soup to be chunky or smooth by pressing the appropriate button and left it to its own devices, whilst I pulled on my wellies and reluctantly took the dogs out in force 6 gale. Brrr!
When we got back, we were cold, wet and shivering but the soup maker had done its thang and once the dogs were towelled down and I had put my cosy PJ’s back on I got stuck in to a big, steaming bowl of spicy soup. See my Instagram Stories.
All in all, I was impressed. The appliance is easy to use and equally easy to clean. It can also be used to make smoothies, which is a plus. There is a safety cut-off if the jug is too full or even not full enough. The digital display in the handle counts down the programme time. Those are the pros but what about the cons? For me there is really only one, as I tend to batch cook and freeze but this will only make 1.4l of soup at a time. But that is probably fine for most people. However, for ease and freeing up time it’s a winner and I can always do two batches in a session. The soup maker retails at £39.99 and again comes with a free 2-year extended warrenty.*
VonShef stock all sorts of kitchenware and entertaining paraphenalia, from pan sets to cocktail shakers and their prices are really keen. They offer free mainland UK standard delivery on all orders and for £1.99 you can get next day delivery on orders placed before 3pm.
Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium Sweet Potato
1 medium Butternut Squash
1 medium Carrot
1 medium Onion
1 clove of Garlic
500ml Vegetable Stock
1 level tsp Garam Masala
1 level tsp Medium Curry Powder
Pinch of Salt
1. Chop the sweet potato, squash and carrots into 2/3cm chunks.
2. Rough chop the onion and garlic.
3. Add all to the soup maker along with the stock, garam masala, curry powder and salt.
4. Plug in, replace the lid, select programme and go and have some ‘me’ time.
We were gifted the products but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.
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