Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Vitamix, Harvest Cheddar Soup and Delicious Cheese and Marmite Scones


I was recently asked if I would like to road test a fab product in The English Kitchen.  As you know I get sent things from time to time and I always enjoy trying them out and letting you know what I think of them.

The people from Vitamix recently sent me their Vitamix TNC Black to try out and I have spent the last little week or so really putting it through it's paces!

First a little bit about the machine itself . . .

The Vitamix machine is more than just a blender, it's actually a fabulous machine which can create healthy meals in a very quick and easy way.  The Vitamix Total Nutrition Center® lets you perform more than 50 kitchen tasks easier, faster and with better results than you can achieve any other way.

The Variable Speed Control allows for flexibility and creativity; fine chop, grind or fully blend ingredients, all in one container. The High Speed Setting allows for maximum processing, especially for thicker ingredients and larger recipes.
Propels the blade tip speed up to 386 km/h to blend even the toughest ingredients.
With 2 litres of true blending capacity and specially designed to create a powerful vortex for thorough processing.
Seals securely allowing ingredients to be added while processing.
For maximum durability and long life.
Allows for processing thick, dense ingredients and prevents air pockets from forming.
Ergonomically designed for comfort and control.
Will have you on your way to creating the most delicious and nutritious meals in no time.
An impressive warranty that speaks to the reliability and performance of a Vitamix machine.

I've been taking the "Getting Started Guide" and the "Whole Foods Recipes" cookbook that came with it to bed with me for a week now and studying it up really well.  I wanted to give this impressive piece of kit the best workout possible and I also wanted to be able to give each of you an honest opinion of what it can or cannot do.


Today I made a hot soup in it, using a recipe from the cookbook that came with it.    "Harvest Cheddar Soup."    The recipe promised a delicious nutitious soup in with about 10 minutes prep time, and 6 to 7 minutes processing time.  You can see all of the ingredients lined up here, ready to go.

(here is everything in the machine, just waiting for me to press the on button!)

I wanted to really give the recipe the best chance possible and so I made sure to have all my "mise en place!"  I didn't want to risk leaving anything out.

I boo booed though.  I got the variable speed wrong.  I thought it said variable speed 4 to 5 for 10 minutes, but it really said variable speed 10 for 4 to 5 minutes!  And so . . .  the first thing I did was to overload my machine!!  The Automatic overload Protection option is a built in feature which is designed to protect the machine from overheating!  I'm happy to say that this option works like a charm.  So my 7 minute soup took me a lot longer than 7 minutes because I had to let the  motor cool down.


Nevertheless I persevered and after the motor cooled down, I proceeded as per the recipe instructions (always read a recipe a few times first folks, so you don't mess up!) and I ended up with a beautiful thick and delicious soup in . . . I kid you not . . . just a few minutes!  I was amazed at how how it was.  It was steaming hot!  I tried to get a picture of the steam, but I couldn't.  You will just have to take my word for that.

Doesn't that look good???  It sure does, and let me tell you it was amazingly scalding hot!

It was also amazingly delicious and most importantly very healthy!  There is everything in there, as the recipe used all of two already baked potatoes, skin and all, two whole unpeeled granny smith apples, celery, onion, etc.  Only the potatoes were cooked before adding.  Everything else was added raw and it was absolutely amazing to me that it all ended up as a hot soup!

This is a whole foods machine.  It purpotes to  make light work of tearing down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables, making vital nutrients more readily available for your body to absorb. With a Vitamix machine, even the nutrient-packed peels, pulp and seeds can be pulverised and blended into recipes for some of the most health-protecting, disease-preventing dishes and drinks you've ever had.

And after tasting this delicious soup, I can attest that it did just that.

 *Harvest Cheddar Soup*
Makes 6 cups
Printable Recipe

This recipe can be reduced by half and made in smaller containers.  Garnish with sour cream and diced apple. (From the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes book)

2 cups chicken broth (480ml)
2 TBs white wine
1/4 medium onion, peeled
1 stalk celery, cut in half
2 Granny Smith apples, quartered
2 potatoes, baked and quartered
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch white pepper
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (115g)


Place all of the ingredients, except the cheese into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.

Select variable 1.

Turn the machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.

Blend for 6 to 7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.

Reduce the speed to Variable 4 and remove the lid plug.

Drop in the cheese through the lid plug opening.  Blend for an additional 15 seconds.

Per cup (240ml) serving:  224 cal; 10g protein; 8g Tot fat; 28g Carb

Of course, you know I wouldn't serve a bowl of soup all on it's own, would I?

Of course not!  I baked some tasty Cheddar and Marmite Scones to have along with it!They went down a real treat.  Made from a mixture of whole meal and self raising flours, a sharp cheddar cheese . . . and filled with a subtle flavour of marmite, these were fabulous!

*Cheddar and Marmite Scones*
Makes 8
Printable Recipe

The perfect savoury scone to have with a hot bowl of soup, or with some cold sliced meats and cheese.  Perfect for in the lunch box too!  Healthy and whole meal.

140g self raising flour (1 1/4 cup)
140g wholemeal flour (generous cup)
1 tsp baking powder
50g cold butter, cut into small cubes (3 1/2 TBS)
85g mature cheddar cheese (scant cup)
1 large free range egg
1 TBS Marmite
2 TBS Greek yogurt
3 TBS milk, plus more to glaze

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas 5.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Whisk together the self raising flour, wholemeal flour, and baking powder  in a large bowl.  Drop in the butter and quickly rub it into the flour mixture using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  Stir in half of the cheese.  Make a well in the centre.

Whisk together the egg, marmite, yogurt and milk.  Pour this all at once into the well in the centre of the flour mixture.  Stir together with a fork to make a soft dough.  If you think the dough is too dry, you may add a bit more milk.  You want a soft, but not sticky dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface,  Pat out to about 1 inch thick.  Cut into rounds with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, stamping it straight down and lifting it straight up, re-rolling the scraps as necessary, until you have 8 rounds..  Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush the tops with some more milk and then sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool..

The machine is very easy to clean.  You just half fill it with warm water, add a few drops of dish soap and blend for about 2 minutes.  Easy peasy lemon squeasy!

Next, I decided to make the Custard Sauce recipe from the book.  The Toddster loves his puddings, and he always loves them with custard.  The recipe in the Vitamix Cookbook promised to make this sauce in 6 minutes.  This time I had cottoned on to how exactly to use it, so I had no mishaps and true to it's word in about 6 minutes I had a delicious Vanilla Custard Sauce.  I did a video of that too, but somehow I lost it.  (I've never claimed to be a techno genius!)  Of course. . . I didn't serve that all on it's own either.  I made Todd a delicious Steamed Apple Pudding to have along with it.  Yes, I know, he is one very spoilt man!  You'll have to come back tomorrow for that recipe, as I am pooped now and ready to take a rest!

The Vitamix also makes delicious ice cream in only 2 minutes, which I will also show you at another time!

In the meantime I have to say that all told I am very impressed with this beautiful machine.  It is soooooo much more than a blender.  It promises to do the work of 10 kitchen appliances and let you perform more than 50 kitchen tasks easier, faster and with better results than you can achieve any other way.
  • Blend fresh fruits and vegetables into tasty, fibre-rich whole food juice in 1 minute
  • Cook steaming hot soup from fresh vegetables in under 5 minutes
  • Create delicious healthy ice cream in only 30 seconds
  • Dice, chop or blend ingredients into healthy, preservative-free salsas, dips and more
And . . . I believe it can.  I do, I do, I do, I do . . . I do. Whether you want to elevate your expertise and creativity in the kitchen, or you're just searching for a simple way to feed your family more nutritious meals, the Vitamix machine is an unbeatable value. From breakfast to dinner and from appetizers to desserts, it is destined to become one of the most indispensible kitchen tools you've ever owned.  I wouldn't be without mine now.  In fact, I am going to be ordering the dry container and blade when I get back from my holidays so that I can make my own icing sugar and grind  my own wheat!

 The Vitamix Total Nutrition Centre® is backed by full 7 year warranty and comes complete with a Getting Started DVD, Getting Started Guide Manual and a Whole Foods Cookbook which all go a long ways towards getting you stuck right into healthy cooking quickly and effortlessly.

Many thanks to Aaron at Publicacity, and to the Vitamix people for affording me this fabulous opportunity!

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!!


  1. I have Vitamix Envy:)

    You deserve it..Hope you can keep it?

    Everything looks delish~

  2. omg what nice soup and scones Marie, im hungry ha!I would love make these scones are nice, send you a lot of huggsss dear:)

  3. I've been looking at this for quite some time now. I really want one but it's out of my budget.

  4. I've been looking at this for quite some time now. I really want one but it's out of my budget.

  5. I picked up my Vitamix a few months ago and have been blending up a storm, but haven't done a soup, so after reading your post, I will be giving this soup a whirl, as I love all that is in it. I didn't expect to see a post about the Vitamix, so it was a bonus for me!

  6. I hope that you are enjoying your new machine Winnie!!


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