* Prices may differ from that shown
As I have already confessed on here to my cookware fetish, I thought I may as well review one of my favourite recent purchases. These are soup pots although they are sometimes called "bean pots" on the net and like all Le Creuset products come in a variety of fantastic colours and a 5 year guarantee.
These are curvy little pots sold in a pair and made from earthenware which means like the mini casseroles, they must not be used on a hob. However they are microwave/oven/aga friendly and cope well in the fridge or the freezer.
I bought these in the colour "cassis" to match the mini casseroles that I have but the whole range encompasses 8 colours that are bright and beautiful including teal (which is more of a duck egg blue) and reds. I love Le Creuset stuff but it is so expensive that I have to limit myself to smaller pieces. I have been lucky enough to receive a couple of the bigger cast iron monsters as gifts but these can cost up to £119.
As with all Le Creuset products, these are well made and very attractive. The lid and base are both made from one whole piece of clay meaning there is added stability around the finer parts such as the handles. The glaze is thick and well fired with no patches. It is shiny and looks very strong. The cassis ones that I own are a delicious shade of graduated purple which when combined with the lovely curvy shape are a really appealing way to serve food. As with all Le Creuset products you will see an embossed name across the lid.
These pots do not absorb odours and are stain resistant. They cope with a dishwasher no problem and are very well made. They are sold as "chip resistant" which is good as I always seem to chip my ovenware, and so far these have not so much as scratched across the glaze and they look as good as when I bought them. As with the mini casseroles that I own, these have an unglazed base which looks rustic and also stops the pot from slipping on a shiny surface.
Although marketed as soup bowls I use these for soups, bean roasts and individual servings of food. The pots are large enough for one person so although you will have more to wash up than if using a large dish, you do get the cuteness factor of an all in one lidded pot. The lid will also keep your food warm for a decent amount if time.
I have used these for soup which I then place back in the oven with a large home made french bread style crouton and grated cheese and black pepper. When cooked that way for a few minutes you get a delicious concoction that will liven up any soup. These are perfect for finishing dishes ie browning food, melting cheese on etc as well as cooking from scratch food like crumbles etc. My favourite way to use these is a bean roast which is made from fresh tomatoes, 5 types of bean, garlic, chopped onion, chilli and passata. When cooked this is amazing when you have bread to dip and very healthy.
TIP: When using these I place them on an oven tray as the handles are too fiddly to pick up safely with any kind of oven glove. This ensures that I do not spill or drop them as I am clumsy.
You will get a pair of these in a box with matching lids. The soup pots hold 0.5 litres each.
These pots each measure 6cm at the base which flares out giving a pot bellied look and finally goes back in at the top to approx 10cm diameter.
* Available in a range of bright colours
* Care and use booklet included
* 5 Year guarantee
* Fridge and freezer safe
* Non scratch glaze
* Do not absorb odours/ stain
* Oven/ aga/ microwave use NOT a hob
* Easy to clean
* Strong and durable
Amazon currently have these at £25.60 for a pair of the teal colour, and they are £30 from the Le Creuset website. It is worth shopping around for these as they often do come up on offer. I consider these to be excellent value, they are very attractive and well made and should last a long time. They are also far more useful than just a soup bowl.
These are practical and beautiful little soup pots. Affordable compared to a lot of the Le Creuset range, the danger is that you fall in love with them and start a collection which would require a large outlay. These are more practical to own than the mini casseroles which were mainly purchased for their cute factor! Recommended.
We received a pair of these pots as a Christmas gift last year. I'd heard of Le Creuset range, but wasn't overly familiar with their products as I've always seen them as being out of our price range. When I opened the box and saw these pots, I thought they were soup bowls (which is mainly what we use them for), but they are actually called "bean pots" on most websites. When I researched the item online, however, the official Le Creuset website calls them soup bowls.
The bowls we received were in the classic Le Creuset rustic orange colour (officially it's called "volcanic"), but these bowls are available in 8 different colours including blue, red, granite, almond, teal, cassis (purple), and satin black. All colours are vibrant and look shiny from the outside. Ours is orange but the colour kind of graduates towards the edges so it looks like a burnt orange merging into red. They're very attractively designed, and have little handles on each side of the pot, and a lid with "Le Creuset" embossed on it.
The main purpose of these bowls is to serve soup, making them fairly one-dimensional. As with most items in the "Le Creuset" range, the appeal with these is the quality of the stoneware, and the bowls are microwave/oven/grill/freezer and dishwasher safe. They are not to be used directly on the hob though, so you'll need to heat up your soup in another container and use these purely for serving. They come with a five year guarantee, and you know this is a quality product which should last a while. The surface of the bowls is enamelled scratch resistant, so it doesn't get chipped and become tired looking as quickly as cheaper products. They are resisitant to chipping, scratching and staining, and are odour and flavour resistant.
On the official Le Creuset website, the RRP for a pair of these bowls is £27 which although is quite expensive, I suspect they will never need replacing unless they get dropped or damaged. Searching round online, it's possible to pick these bowls up a little cheaper, the cheapest I've found them is £21.60 on Amazon.
We've had these bowls since Christmas, and they've had a fair bit of use so far. We do consume quite a lot of soup in our household, particularly at the weekends in winter as it's an easy lunch we can have from our well stocked larder cupboard.
When I first saw the bowls, I wasn't entirely sure if they would fit a standard sized tin of soup in them, but I needn't have worried. Each bowl has a capacity of 0.5 litres, which is ample for a standard tin of soup. Although the bowls have handles either side, these are quite small so I wouldn't trust myself to carry the bowls by the handles. This isn't an issue for me because we usually have buttered toast to dip in our soup, so the bowls are placed on a large plate, with the toast alongside, and carried by the plate rather than the bowl.
The lids are a really handy feature of these bowls, because they kept the soup hot until you actually sit down to eat it. This is useful, for example if you're waiting for the toast to pop up, or the phone goes just as you're about to eat. The lids will keep the soup warm for a few more minutes.
The bowls themselves are a nice shape, and it's easy to get the soup out of the bowls apart from near the bottom when you'll end up tipping the bowl to get the last bits of soup out. This would be the same with any soup bowl though, as that is how they are designed.
With a diameter of 10cm, storing these bowls isn't too tricky. They have fitted in well in one of our existing cupboards, and the bright vibrant orange colour makes it easy to find them when you're preparing your soup.
The bowls are very easy to care for. We have a dishwasher so once we've finished with them we just place them (carefully!) in the dishwasher and they come out perfectly clean. They've been through the dishwasher many times now, and the colour is as vibrant as it was when we first got them. We don't have any chips or scratches in our bowls, but we've only had them a few months, and we have a guarantee to cover anything like this as the brand states this shouldn't happen.
Overall, these are a lovely accessory to have in our kitchen. The only downside is that once you start your Le Creuset collection, if you are the kind of person who wants everything to match in the kitchen, this would cost a fortune as it's not a cheap range of cookware. We're happy with just having a few bits and bobs in our kitchen which we've received as gifts, as we can't justify spending the money on the whole range. They do make good gifts though, although it's probably worth checking if someone already has a few items, whether they are collecting them in a certain colour.
An expensive but very enjoyable luxury.
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)