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. 


Smash Burger

Around the end of the summer a new Smash Burger opened nearby. I was able to try it not longer after. I was excited because their menu offered a spicy black bean burger. I love black beans. They are far and away my favorite bean. I eat them all the time. I even make my own spicy black bean burgers when the spirit moves me. The smash burger version sounded very promising. Adorned with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese among other acourtrements.

The burger itself was not bad, but not very impressive either. It was better than your average restaurant veggie patty, but only by a bit. It was pretty bland. Basically just black beans and some binding agent. It could have used some spices or garlic or both.

My guess is that the toppings and bun were supposed to take care of that. Which for the most part they did. The spicy jalapenos and the melty cheese and the crunchy onions made it a pretty good sandwich in the end. But even so, you still taste the burger inside of all that pop and sizzle. Ideally, you don't want a tasteless patty in the middle of all that goodness.

Still props for the effort. Not all restaurants bother to offer veggie burgers. I certainly appreciate those that do.

Overall, an okay veggie burger. Better than Applebee's. Not as good as Hoolihan's. Needs work.

All the remotely close Cheeburgers closed a long time ago, but I still miss theirs. It was sublime.