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. 


Not Your Grandma's Lentils and Barley

Looking to sort of reinvent my own repetitive preparations of lentils and barley I went for monster flavor on this one. I threw every punch of flavor I could scrounge up at it.

The result was a rich porridge laced with heat and spices.

Sauteing the vegetables really brings out their flavors so that they're much more present in the final dish.

1 poblano pepper, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup garlic puree
1 cup cucumber gazpacho pulp

1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils

1/2 cup white wine
Several cups water

1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Saute the poblano in a large skillet with a touch of oil and a pinch of salt. This will really accentuate the flavor and the heat. When poblano is tender add jalapeno and garlic. Saute a few more minutes. Add wine, salt and pepper. Simmer 3 more minutes.

Add lentils, barley and 2 cups water. Cover. Simmer until water is absorbed. Continue adding water as necessary to cook the lentils and barley until tender.

Stir in garlic puree, gazpacho pulp, salt and black pepper. Heat through.