A soup maker can deliver great results in no time. Read our review of the Vitamix Ascent, an investment machine that multitasks and performs various kitchen duties.
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Vitamix Ascent A2500i
Pros: High power with laser-cut blades for ultra-blending, even for hard ingredients such as nuts
Cons: Functions not long enough to create soup without some pre-cooking for most recipes, and chunky soups not possible
This blender is so powerful that it can produce piping hot soup in less than 6 minutes. However, as the length of the heating is so short, it's necessary to pre-cook the main ingredient.
We tried out the Vitamix cauliflower soup recipe, which required the cauiflower to be steamed, but there was no pre-cooking of the remaining ingredients. Despite containing nuts, the soup was incredibly smooth and piping hot, too.
We used it to make our carrot & coriander soup, but the results, although tasty, were closer to a hot juice rather than a soup, with a sweetness closer to raw carrot. The carrots and potato would have benefited from some prior cooking.
If you don't mind pre-roasting vegetables to give more flavour, then this will still produce a soup in a shorter time than if you transferred the contents to the hob and then to a blender.
Chunky soups are not an option as this is primarily a blender that only produces heat through the friction of the blades, not through any heating element as in standard soup makers.
The presets include hot soups (smooth) in 5 minutes 45 seconds, smoothies in 45 seconds, and frozen desserts, such as granitas and sorbets, in 55 seconds. Otherwise, it's a question of turning the dial from 1-10 to increase the blend to your desired speed.
To put the blender to the test, we tried out the Vitamix peanut butter recipe. It produced smooth peanut butter in under 5 minutes. It was suggested to use the tamper tool provided when blending, to safely pop the air bubble around the blade to ensure the entire mixture blitzed evenly. As it was possible to use just peanuts and no oil, it's a great way of making healthier, pure peanut butter.
In addition, out of all of the smoothies we made in our blenders, this produced the smoothest results.
For cleaning, it's recommend to add warm water to the jug with a drop of detergent and run it through the variable speeds (1-10) for 1 minute. It cleaned well, needing just a little extra help with a brush. The dishwasher is also an option if you can't be bothered.
The instruction booklet could have been clearer, but with only a few settings, a dial for the speed and a pulse button, it proved pretty simple to work out.
There was a handy separate 'start here guide', which took us through the first clean and a smoothie. We liked that it gave us a pick-and-mix recipe so you can choose your preferred liquid (soya milk, yogurt, juice or water), a green, plus two additional fruits or veg – suggestions and quantities listed.
In addition, there's a comprehensive recipe book to help navigate a broad range of uses – nut milks and butters, dips, doughs, cakes, baby foods, desserts and, of course, soup.
Overall, we thought this was a useful gadget for keen cooks.
Capacity: Maximum 2 litres, no minimum specified
Dimensions: 20.32 x 27.94 x 43.18cm
Jug material: Plastic
Functions: Blend, smoothies (50 secs), hot soups (5 mins 45 secs), frozen desserts (55 secs)
Cleaning: Either blend to clean or dishwasher lid, lid plug and tamper tool
Keep warm setting: No
Removable jug: Yes
Guarantee: 10 years
This review was last updated in July 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.