Monday, November 17, 2014

Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup - Ninja Blender Auto iQ Review

What I had

I've been using a NutriBullet by Magic Bullet for about a year. Unfortunately, for the last 3 or 4 months the noise it produces is so loud it hurts my ears. Additionally, the underneath of the blade mechanism is full of rust. Too bad really as I was fairly happy with its performance. Knowing I had to replace it, I started doing some research. Sure, I'd love a Vitamix but I just couldn't justify the price and it would be too big to sit out on my counter for easy access to morning smoothies. The Nutriblender has a 900 watt model out but I wasn't convinced as I have read mixed reviews about its performance. My other option was a Nutri Ninja.


That's when fate intervened! As regular readers know, I attended IFBC in Seattle this past September. One of the sponsors was Nutri Kitchen. They sponsored one of the lunch sessions so I was able to learn about their products, including their new Auto iQ line. The new line has preset configurations for time and pulsing so you don't have to stop, take off the jar or blender and stir, shake or otherwise get annoyed!

I left the conference armed with information and recipe ideas and thought I'd make my final decision within a couple of weeks. Then I received an email from Ninja asking if I'd like to review the Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ! Heck ya! So they sent me the 1300 Watt system to test drive!

Nutri Blender with Auto iQ

This system comes with the blender, iQ base with 5 programmed settings, two Nutri Ninja cups, crushing blades, extractor blades, recipe inspiration guide.


A) Set up was quick and easy. Before long we had our green goddess smoothie ready for blending. Simply pressing the NutriNinja "ultra blend" button starts the process. It pulses a couple of times to get things going and then blends until perfectly smooth - a total of 60 seconds. There is even a count down timer so you know exactly how long until it's done! The smoothie was, well, smooth - I would say it is smoother than my old nutriblender (though that was 600 watts vs 1300 watts for the Ninja). The cups with lids make smoothie making easy and convenient. This model comes with two large cups. A smaller cup would be great - especially when making smoothies for the kids.  If this is important to you, other models come with an extra smaller cup.

B) To test the blender, we threw in a bunch of ice and crushed it - it came out just like snow! In fact, there may have been a snowball or two made! All we and to do was press "frozen drinks" button  - 70 seconds was all we needed to have perfect crushed ice.

C) With the cold fall weather rolling in, we have lots of soup bubbling in our kitchen. We decided to make a roasted carrot and fennel soup using the blender attachment. It did a great job - very silky smooth, very easy, and clean up was a breeze. I loved that the large capacity blender held everything in one go. I ran it a few times on the puree mode. Once pureed, I placed the soup in individual serving containers and froze them.

Overall Impression

So far I love the Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ! It's simple to set up, simple to use and simple to clean up. I do appreciate that the containers and blades are dishwasher safe and bpa free. However, it's not whisper quiet - in fact it's loud but quite a bit quieter than my NutriBullet. Overall, I recommend it to anyone in the market for this kind of appliance. You will use it to make delicious smoothies, silky soups, slushy margaritas and many other fantastic creations!

Below you'll find the recipe for our roasted carrot soup!
Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup
Roasted veggies go into blender.
It holds quite a bit!
Don't forget the orange!

Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup


1 lb carrots
2 medium bulbs of fennel
1 head garlic, separated into cloves but do not peel cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 inch piece of ginger
1 orange, peeled
1 litre vegetable broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut carrots in half length wise and quarter if thick.
  3. Cut fennel into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  4. Place carrots, fennel, and garlic (leave skin on) on one or two baking sheets.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over veggies and garlic and mix a little with your hands to make sure oil covers.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, turning vegetables once half way through. Roast untilsoft and slightly carmelized.
  8. Julienne or grate ginger.
  9. Place carrots, fennel, orange and ginger in blender.
  10. Squish garlic out of skins and into blender.
  11. Add vegetable broth.
  12. Blend on puree setting.
  13. Do it again if you want it ultra silky.
  14. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  15. You can place in in sauce pan and heat or place in containers without heating and freeze or refrigerate for future use.
PS - even though I was sent this system, my opinions, as always, are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly sounds like fate! I absolutely can't get enough pureed soups this time of year!