We Tried Souping In an Instant Pot Blender & It Couldn't Have Been Easier (or Tastier)
Say goodbye to canned soups when you say hello to Instant Pot's Ace Nova blender. (It can make ice cream, too!)
When you hear the name Instant Pot, most of us think of the pressure cooker that hit the market a couple of years ago and quickly became the new must-have countertop appliance. It’s with good reason, the Instant Pot makes so many meals quick and easy. But for making a quick pot of soup, the Instant Pot blender is even quicker and easier. Instant Pot (aka Instant Brands) has three blender models: the Ace, Ace Nova and Ace Plus. I tested the Ace Nova model, and here's what I thought.
As you would expect, the Ace Nova blender is fabulous for making smoothies and frosty cocktails, but you can also knock out a creamy or chunky soup in about 15 to 20 minutes. If boiling is necessary, the blender quickly heats up to 212 degrees and stirs it at regular intervals, so everything is cooked evenly. When the soup is done cooking, the Ace Nova has a “keep warm” setting that will also stir regularly so you can prepare the rest of your meal and not worry about the soup — so convenient! I recently made butternut squash soup in the blender, and to go with it, I prepared a caramelized onion, apple and walnut pizza in the oven. I threw all the ingredients in the blender and set it for 20 minutes. I did not have to think about it while I concentrated on the pizza. Both came out perfectly! Homemade tomato soup in the blender is another easy fix-and-forget meal — I made that with spinach and mushroom quesadillas. This method of soup and sammies is so simple, homemade blender soups now happen a couple of times a week in my house.
I’m thinking of parting with my ice cream maker since I’ve gotten the Ace Nova blender. With most ice cream makers, you have to remember to put the main tub in the freezer hours before you plan on making the ice cream. I don’t have a freezer that’s big enough to always keep it in there, so I like using the blender for ice cream because it takes less forethought. Granted, ice cream in a standard ice cream maker will come out colder than when it’s made in the blender, but with either appliance, the ice cream still has to sit in the freezer before serving.
If I had this blender when my kids were babies, I’m sure I’d be using it a lot to make baby food, but they’re older now so we make smoothies, milkshakes and frozen macchiatos. The macchiatos are a wonderful mid-afternoon or after-school treat, and making these has saved me a bunch of money because I don't need to head out to the coffee shop to get my mid-day caffeine fix.
Clean-Up Has Its Pros and Cons
When I first got the Ace Nova, I was kind of surprised that the bottom piece of the vessel with the blades was not removable like it is on most standard blenders, but then I discovered that there’s a self-cleaning mode! Just add hot water — I found about two cups will do — and a few drops of dish soap and then hit the clean button. The blender goes through a high-speed cycle that removes most of the gunk that is stuck down on the bottom and throughout the vessel. Pour the water out when the cycle is complete, then just rinse. Even making nut butter (DIY Nutella — yum!) was a very simple cleanup — two minutes tops. The only time the self-cleaning option didn’t completely work for me was when I left broccoli and cheese soup on the warm setting at a high temperature for too long. Some of it stuck to the bottom, so I let it soak for a while then used the scrub brush that is included with the blender to remove it. But it was no worse than cleaning a regular pot or Dutch oven.
One word of caution: You cannot submerge the entire vessel in water since there are electronics on the bottom of the vessel that connects to the base. Hence, the reason it has a self-cleaning feature. However, you can wipe the bottom of the vessel with a damp cloth.
Safety-wise the Ace Nova blender is sturdy and heavy-duty. The lid locks into place before it can even be turned on. So, you don’t have to worry if tweens and teens are using it; the lid won’t blow off and spew smoothies all over your kitchen walls.
If you’ve gotten into the homemade bread craze this year, for the perfect accompaniment, consider adding this multifunctional blender made for souping and beyond to your kitchen.