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. 


Cucumber Gazpacho

While cucumber gazpacho is nothing new, I thought I'd try my take on it. I went green on green on green for the full green gazpacho experience. As always, it packs some heat.

2 large cucumebrs, sliced and slices halved
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1 large poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 a habernero pepper, finely minced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 slice rye bread with caraway seeds

2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsps dill weed
2 tsps parsley

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

Cook celery over medium high heat in a large frying pan. When celery begins to soften add wine, oil, salt, black pepper. Cook 5  more minutes. Add all three hot peppers, celery seed and garlic. Continue cooking until all the veg is very tender. Stiring occasionally.

Add sliced cucumber to food processor and puree. Add warm celery mixture, bread, vingear, water and remaining spices. Buzz until roughly pureed. Pass through a mesh strainer.

Chill a few hours before serving.

Don't discard the pulp left in the strainer. Save it to flavor other dishes or to top salads.