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. 


Red Red Wine Beans and Rice

Red onions and red wine are natural companions. Mushrooms also love red wine. This is a fancified version of classic red beans and rice using those complementary pairings as the inspiration.

8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
2 cups sliced celery
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 tbls each minced jalapeno, serrano, habernero peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh basil, minced
1 cup dry white rice
1 can red beans

1 cup red onion broth, see below
1 1/2 cups water
1 lime, zest and juice

2 tsps dry basil
2 tsps dry thyme

Red Onion Broth
Skins and ends from 2 medium red onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Bring all onion broth ingredients to a boil and then simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced by half and the broth is rich and deep. Strain to remove onion pieces.

Add to your strained onion broth, mushrooms, celery, garlic, peppers. Simmer uncovered for 7 minutes. Add rice, water, spices. Cover and simmer until rice is almost tender. Add lime zest and juice and fresh basil. Simmer 2 more minutes.