Thermomix Competitor? Cuisinart Soup Maker & Blender

Soup Week was last week, but that doesn't mean we're not still soup-crazed! Today we made soup using our sale rack margarita blender and something was just off. So we turned to the internet to find an appliance that would really help us next time we made a vegetable-based soup — and look what turned up! Is it a lower-priced American competitor to Thermomix, the European dream machine?
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We sort of fell in love with this new Cuisinart Soup Maker & Blender. Ignore the name, which implies that it's a uni-tasker. (Who needs a soup maker when a pot will do? We think Cuisinart might have really misfired on the naming with this one.) No, this is a multi-tasker — even more than your usual blender. The blender will tackle anything you throw its way, including ice for cocktails, roasted vegetables for a soup or frozen fruit for a delicious smoothie.

But then, you're probably asking what sets this blender apart from any other? This blender actually cooks the vegetables while making them into a delicious soup.

It has three heat settings, ranging from a low simmer to a high boil. Throw in some chopped vegetables, turn on the heat setting and get cooking. The blender has a plastic base with a glass container and even comes with a brush for cleaning (we've always hated cleaning our blender!).

We're hoping this soup maker and blender takes off in the states. Combo appliances like these aren't generally too popular here but the Thermomix is much more common in Europe. In a small kitchen, a heating-whizzing-cooking-mixer-blender-thingie can actually be an amazing asset.

Read more about Thermomix: The Way We Eat: Dream Machine - by Amanda Hesser in The New York Times, November 2005.

Thermomix is really the leader in the market right now, but we're thinking the Cuisinart may do well here, depending on how it performs.

• Find It: Cuisinart Soup Maker & Blender, $199.95 at Williams-Sonoma

Have you seen this thing in action? Do you own one? Tell us what you think!

Related: Spicy Soups To Keep You Extra Warm

(Images: Williams-Sonoma)

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