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. 


Artichoke and Mushroom Pasta

Mushrooms, artichoke hearts and capers join forces to create a classically inspired vegan Italian pasta dish.

A minimum of ingredients allows each component to shine.

6 ounces dry pasta

1 jar artichoke hearts packed in brine
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
2 poblano peppers, diced
1/4 cup white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps capers with some of the liquid

1/2 cup white wine
4 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup pasta water

1 tsp flour

1 large handful fresh basil, chiffonade

1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Cook pasta. Set aside. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

Saute salt, black pepper, mushrooms, peppers and onions in 2 tbls of the olive oil until mushrooms darken. Add wine, artichokes, including packing liquid, garlic, pasta water. Simmer for 7 minutes. Add capers and flour. Simmer 3 more minutes.

Add remaining oil, pepper flakes and pasta, Toss to coat pasta in veggies and liquid. Turn off heat. Add basil. Stir. Let sit for 3 minutes.