This review features one of our long term favourite soup makers, and the one that tends to sit on top of our top choices table on the homepage, the Easy Soup Maker from Tefal, model number BL841140.
It’s a very close call between this and the Morphy Richards 48822 as to which gets the top spot – they’re both very good performers and affordable, popular with customers and sell well on Amazon.
On this page, you’ll find out about the BL841140, and what makes it such a good choice.
Tefal BL841140 Easy Soup Maker Review
In our reviews, we tend to split things out into two distinct sections, which are the features of the product and then what other customers say about it.
This is no different, and we’ve taken a close look about the factual side first in terms of what you get, and then further down the page you’ll find those customer comments.
Features Of The Tefal BL841140
Soup is something that can be very simple, or alternatively can involve lots of small ingredients to create the perfect flavour.
The Easy Soup Maker has a lot of controls, and they’re arranged in a way to cater for both of those scenarios. If we’re really honest, we’re sure this is the sort of product where you can initially spend a lot of time experimenting and perfecting your recipes and make some really exciting creations, but as time goes on, the real appeal is to chuck in the ingredients, and let the machine do its thing.
That said, it’s good to know as much as possible about your purchase before you part with your hard earned money, so let’s look at it, feature by feature.
Easy To Use
Let’s be clear – the real strength of this machine (and good soup makers in general), is that it’s really straightforward to use.
Tefal haven’t created the BL441140 for experienced professional chefs after all, quite the opposite, it’s for people new to making soup so things are simple. In some ways, this machine is for real beginners to get started, whereas the Morphy Richards equivalent, the 48822 is probably better suited to people on their second or subsequent soup maker.
Putting it another way, buy this Tefal if you know you want a soup maker, but don’t know much about making soup other than you want something load up with ingredients, turn on and forget about until it’s ready.
It’s not the biggest on the market, but this Tefal does have a really good capacity at 1200ml, perfect for average sized family meals.
If you’re feeding a lot of mouths it might be worth considering a larger maker (you’ll find plenty in the 1600ml range on this site). If you’re a little on the fence as to whether that 1.2 litre limit is enough, you can always prepare twice the quantity of ingredients, cook the first half and then have the same again on the go as you enjoy serving one.
That’s because it’s one of the fastest machines on the market for cooking – which conveniently brings us to…
The Fast Cook Programme
While some soup makers take what seems like an age to complete their job, this one is at the quicker end of the spectrum. The fast cycle is a 23 minute programme, one that you’ll struggle to significantly beat with other brands and models.
Even if you want to cook chunky soups so it takes a little longer to heat up those lumps, it’s still only two minutes longer – 25 minutes in total from start to finish.
If you’re familiar with the kids (or adults!) in the house asking when it’s tea time, you’ll be grateful for a speedy machine!
Stay Warm Function
Not all soup makers have this function, and it’s a mystery why really as it’s so useful!
Stay warm simply means you don’t need to eat instantly when the machine finishes cooking as it’ll keep the soup up to temperature for you. That’s got you covered for up to forty minutes after the cooking is done, so a bit of quick maths means you just need to be sure you’re ready to eat within an hour of starting the soup cooker up.
Recipe Book Comes With It
A really nice touch from Tefal is the inclusion of a recipe book in the box.
When you’re new to something it’s good to have something to work from the first few times, so knowing there’s a recipe or two available means you can get into soup making as soon as you open the box, and see how it all works without worrying too much about ingredients and quantities.
Of course, you’ll quickly progress on to your own soups, but it’s good to know you’re covered to get started.
While some reviews focus on the opinions of the reviewers alone, here at Soup Maker Zone, we think it’s far more helpful to look at the perspective of previous customers.
There’s a lot to go on with this model as it sells so well, so below we’ve collated many of the most common views into small chunks to help you get a summary and understanding of the good and bad points.
Smooth Soups Are Great
This soup maker has plenty of glowing reviews relating to chunkier soups, but where it really shines and comes into its own is the smooth and creamy ones. If you’re more partial to those, that’s a great sign!
Cleaning Is Generally Straightforward
Whenever you have to clean a product after use, you’ll see customers complaining about how hard it is if there are issues. Let’s be clear – there are a few reports of food getting stuck to surfaces and the innards of the machine, and it seems that a lot of them are where customers have realised after a subsequent use that they should have put a bit more effort into cleaning the insides out on a previous use.
It’s important to remember that the Tefal has a cleaning cycle built into the machine, so use it after every use before it goes away, and don’t be tempted to do things like leave it overnight and sort it out in the morning.
It’s always easier to clean out the soup maker shortly after use – not necessarily immediately though – you’ve got time to eat first. It’s when you leave it to dry, and worse still miss bits that turn to concrete-like masses on the next use that it gets really tough to remedy.
2nd Time Buyers Are Happy
We mentioned earlier that the 48822 by Morphy Richards may be a better choice if you’ve already owned a soup maker, but of course some people will have chosen this Tefal model. While we still think the Morphy Richards is better for more experienced soup makers, several people on their second or subsequent soup kettle have written glowing reports, so it’s far from a bad choice!
It Does More Than Make Soup
Sometimes when we write reviews on soup makers, it’s easy to talk about nothing but soup, forgetting that they can often do more. In this case, it’s also a blender too – so if you were thinking about replacing an old blender that’s on it’s last legs, or maybe even buying your first, this could save you money and cupboard/worktop space by just needing one.
Of course, it’s not going to be the best blender on the market if you use them regularly for smoothies, food prep or anything else, but worth a mention.
You Can’t Sauté In This Cooker
If you’ve had a good read through the site, you may already know that some soup cookers will also sauté ingredients for you, like the Morphy Richards 501014. While it’s not something we’d expect to be a problem, there does seem to be a reasonable number of moans about that in the reviews and comments around the web. If it’s important to you, have a look at a different model like that Morphy Richards soup and sauté, but be prepared that you’re likely going to need to spend a bit more.
Don’t forget, the sauté function is simply going to pre-cook some of the ingredients, so you can always just do that bit in a frying pan on the hob first and save yourself a few quid against a more expensive model.
Smaller Batches Are Fine
We often look at the maximum capacities of soup makers and forget that some people just cook for themselves. Whether the reason is because you live by yourself or no-one else likes soup in the household is irrelevant, you probably just want to know if you can cook for one!
Interestingly, a lot of the user guides and recipe books designed for soup makers have a similar oversight, so having done a bit of digging and reading around, it’s good to know that people do make smaller batches. In general, it’s not a good idea to go too low inside, as the chances of it boiling dry or sticking and burning get greater with less liquid. There’s plenty of people talking about regularly doing half to three quarter capacity successfully though. The big thing to watch is making sure there’s enough liquid to stop over thickening though.
The Soupy Summary
As you would expect, being our top recommendation this is something we believe to be a great soup maker. It’s primarily got that badge from us with newbies in mind, and those that are more experienced should at least have a look at the 48822 Morphy Richards review too before buying.
What’s really clear is the overwhelmingly positive views expressed about this machine from previous customers, and putting all of that together edges it ahead of the Morphy Richards model, especially for the inexperienced customers. In particular, if you love smooth soups, this will almost certainly be a great purchase.
You can see the current price for Tefal’s BL841140 Easy Soup Maker here: