Soup season is just around the corner and some big names in blenders are adding the ability to heat your ingredients while you blitz them. Given NutriBullet is such a big name at the moment, I decided to trial its latest machine – the RX 1700. You can use it to make “Nutriblasts” (what normal people call juices or smoothies) or “Souperblasts” (soup). It’ll set you back $450 – so is it worth it?

The first thing I noticed when taking this machine out of the box is how huge it is. It dwarfs the NutriBullet Pro 900, and the cups are much bigger. The 880ml and 1.3L cups are for making cold drinks, while the 1L soup pitcher has a vented lid.

You press a button on the base for it to blend for 60 seconds. I already knew NutriBullets do a good job of making smoothies and juice – the 900W carries the Consumer Recommended tick. But just to make sure this model does too, I gave it a formidable combo to process. My drink included spinach (because some blenders struggle to break up leafy greens), grapes (likewise, some do a bad job on blending grape skins) and walnuts (to make sure I didn’t get a gritty juice). The juice was perfectly smooth.

If you hold the button on the base down for two seconds, you’ll activate a seven-minute cycle that heats the soup – there’s no heater, the heat comes just from friction between the soup and the spinning blades. If you (and the rest of your household) can handle seven minutes of very loud processing, the result is a hot soup.

I tried five of the soup recipes in the supplied recipe book and was impressed with the results. The soups were perfectly processed and steaming hot. The user guide says it heats to 70°C.

The NutriBullet RX 1700 doesn’t cook your ingredients. So for most soup recipes, you’ll still need to do that first. I cooked mushrooms on the stove before making the mushroom soup and roasted pumpkin for the pumpkin soup. You also need to wait about 30 minutes to put your cooked veges in the blender, because they need to cool to room temperature as the vessels are plastic.

While it does a good job, I was perplexed about what situation would make this appliance easier than just using a stick blender or benchtop blender with a glass jug. With both of those options you can blend straight away and usually get comparable results, especially if you were to do it for seven minutes.

Other things to consider are that the cups are safe to put on the top shelf of the dishwasher, but due to their size won’t fit in most dishwashers. Also, have a good read of the recipe in the book before you start. I spotted a few errors, including mention of cherries in the coconut curry pumpkin soup recipe.

The verdict

Love soup and got a spare $450 you can’t find a use for? Then go ahead and buy the RX 1700. It does a great job of blitzing ingredients and heating them.

For everyone else, this seems like an unnecessary appliance. You could just buy a stick blender or benchtop blender and you’ll be enjoying soup much faster than if you use an RX. However, there are a few recipes in the book that don’t require the pre-cooking of ingredients, such as tomato soup. If you could come up with enough recipes that allow you to do this, it could be a handy gadget to have in winter.

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By Kate Newton.