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. 


Carmelized Rice and Pepper Madness

This recipe is inspired by korean bibimbap and spanish paella. It's neither of those things, but it takes a page from their respective rice cookery books and uses it to recreate the carmelized flavors and interesting textures that make those dishes such classics. Browned, carmelized rice is an easy technique to really ramp up the flavor on meatless dishes.

It's picture here with olive oil glazed broiled potato slices and cilantro/tofu aioli.

2 poblano peppers, sliced thinly
1 jalapeno, sliced thinly
1 serrano, cut into thin rounds
1 habernero, sliced thnly
3 dry japanese chiles, broken, deseeded
3 chiles de arbol, borken, deseeded
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/3 can chipotles and adobo sauce

3-5 cups water
1/2 cup beer
2 tbls spicy mustard
1 tbl canola oil
1 tbl classic hot sauce
2 tbls red wine vinegar
1/2 cup white rice
1 can pinto beans
1 can no sodium added yellow corn

2 tsps celery seed
2 tsps thyme
2 tsps basil
2 bay leaves
2 tps rosemary
2 tsps sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper

In a very large non-stick frying pan, saute peppers and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. It's very important to use a non-stick pan. Otherwise when you carmelize your rice you'll just be left with a sticky mess.

Add beer, mustard, hot sauce, spices. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add corn. Simmer 5 more minutes. Add rice in a layer across the top and then cover with the beans. Continue simmering until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add more water 1 cup at a time. Stirring ocassionally while you allow the rice to soak up the liquid. After you've added 2 cup water the rice is about half way down allow it to cook until the bottom begins to turn brown and stick a little bit. Add another cup of water and scrape to release the browned rice back into the mixture. Getting all the browned bits off of the bottoms and stirring them back into the mixutre.

Add more water 1/2 cup at a time to cook rice until it is almost tender.

Add vinegar and cook 2 more minutes.

Turn off heat. Add 1/2 cup 1 cup more water to release everything from the pan and make a nice sauce.

Remove to a storage container and let cool loosely covered for at least 5 minutes.