Nutritious, comforting and filling, a bowl of soup is as simple as it is satisfying. It’s a versatile dish that works well as a quick lunch or as a cost-effective dinner (especially if you have many mouths to feed), and it can also be a great way of upping your vegetable intake in just one dish. If you love the idea of healthy home-made soups but haven’t got time to chop mountains of veg, slave over a hot stove, decant and blend in batches, and then clear away piles of pans, a soup maker can save you time and effort in the kitchen. Simply pop in your ingredients, add stock and let the gadget work its magic. You’ll have a hassle-free wholesome meal, blended to your desired consistency, in next to no time.

Best For Super-Fast Soups: Salter EK2411 Soup Maker

Love soup but short on time? This Salter gadget can whizz up a hearty bowl in just 20 minutes. The stainless steel jug has a large 1.1-litre capacity and there are four auto settings that blend the soup to your preferred thickness (smooth, chunky, compote and blend). The smart control system prevents overspill and dry burning, and the jug detaches from the unit for easy cleaning. £50 (RRP £100), check price and buy on

Best For Features: Morphy Richards 501020 Total Control Soup Maker

It may look like a kettle but this super soup maker comes with a range of handy features that make broth-making a breeze. There’s a portion control function that adapts the cooking time to suit the portion size you select, as well as a reheat button that treats leftovers with the care they deserve. The stainless steel pan is easy to rinse after use, plus you can simply pour water and washing-up liquid into the unit and set the blades in motion to clean the base. £80 (RRP £110), check price and buy on

Best For Small Kitchens: Tefal BL841140 Easy Soup

The name doesn’t lie – this compact contraption, which takes up minimal worktop space, is really simple to use. You can create soups and compotes in the flick of two switches and the stay warm feature on the double-layer insulated pot keeps things hot for up to two hours. The detachable power cord makes for neat storage, while the self-cleaning programme means that you don’t have to worry about after-dinner scrubbing. £85, buy on

Easiest To Use: Lakeland Touchscreen Soup Maker

This good-looking gadget has a sleek touchscreen that lets you cut, blend, cook, simmer and stir in one sturdy jug. The four auto settings can knock up smooth or chunky soups in as little as 30 minutes, and you can manually control the cooking time and temperature to ensure you get the exact consistency you’re looking for. It also whips up sauces, dips and smoothies, and also has an ice-crushing setting that can be adapted to make fresh lemonade and other drinks. £125, buy on

Best For Versatility: Cuisinart Soup Maker Plus SSB3U

Cuisinart’s comprehensive appliance offers four blending speeds for a variety of soup styles and features a sauté function and a slow stir setting that you can use to make risotto and curries. You can also use it as a standard blender for sauces and smoothies, as well as for crushing ice. The lack of any preset programmes means that you’ll need to be a little more hands-on with this one but it allows keen cooks to get a bit more creative. The glass jug and non-stick base are easy to clean, and it comes with a recipe book. £100, buy on