Pressure Cooker Vegan Lentil Soup

On the myriad cooking shows I watch they often use pressure cookers. I've often wondered to myself if I need one and if I did have one, what exactly I would make with it. 

I never did buy one for myself. I always figured I had the time to wait for the same thing to happen via the stovetop. 

But for some strange reason, my mother bought one. She doesn't even like to cook. Perhaps that factored into her decision. 

When she fell ill, I found myself with the desire to make good use of this appliance on her behalf. It felt therapeutic to create sustenance from this device that she'd bought so soon before she'd become sick. 
Since it's summer and hot, I thought to myself, I can make a complex broth based soup without making the house hot simmering it on the stovetop for a long time. 

My absolute favorite soup meal is lentil soup. It's just the ultimate vegan chicken noodle soup analog. It's the food of memories, childhood and comfort. It will give you a big hug. 


Spicy Vegan Brown Rice and Lentils

Spices and heat really liven up meat-free dishes like nothing else can. I wish I had all the ingredients in the world at my disposal, but I do not. Actually my pantry is pretty sad. But if you're creative great things can still happen.

As someone who used to use meat as a primary flavoring ingredients I know it can be hard to compensate for the unique taste qualities meat and its juices supply. But I am learning as I go and vegan/vegetarian dishes can easily be made to taste as good, if not better, without a lot of fuss.

I actually surprised myself with how good this one tasted.

1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup lentils
1 can vegetable broth
3/4 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic sliced
1/2 cup frozen red and green peppers
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp cumin seed (optional, but recommended)
1 packet take out soy sauce or 1 tsp
2 tsp spicy mustard
1 tsp white vinegar
1 can mexicorn (yellow corn kernels with diced red and green peppers)
paprika and chili powder
nutritional yeast

Start by cooking your rice in the broth and olive oil. Add broth, rice and oil to a pot and set on high to bring to a boil. Once boiling lower heat to simmer. Always cook rice covered and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil over.

Once rice has cooked for 20 minutes add soy sauce and lentils and cook 5 minutes longer.

Stir your rice only occasionally as it cooks. It helps to use a non-stick pot.

Add vinegar, cumin seed, hot sauce, mustard. Continue simmering 10 more minutes.

Add spinach. Cook 3 more minutes. Add peppers and garlic. Cook 2 more minutes. Add corn including the juice from the can.

Cook until rice and lentils are tender and a viscous sauce has formed.

Taste. Add paprika, chili powder and additional hot sauce to taste. Sprinkle servings with nutritional yeast and stir to combine for a cheesy and pungent dimension.

It's kinda spicy and kinda sweet. It's a great way to make brown rice taste, um, less brown. And you can never go wrong with lentils and hot sauce.