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. 


Ginger Lime Dressed Roasted Potatoes

You don't typically encounter potatoes in Thai cuisine, but lime and ginger are a winning combination with any beige starch.

Baked and then broiled potato chunks dressed with a ginger lime vinaigrette. Served with a spicy ginger broth. The broth is from an older recipe. The combo really works.

These potatoes are extra crispy on the outside and pillowy soft in the middle. For a variation on classic potato flavor I decided to create a ginger and lime vinaigrette to dress the cooked potatoes.

Cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Coat a bowl with olive oil. Pour 2 tbls in the bottom of the bowl and then gently rotate the bowl to coat the sides and bottom with the oil. This ensures that the first few potato chunks you add to the bowl don't soak up all the oil. This way all the potato wedges get a nice even coating of the oil.

Add cut raw potatoes to the bowl. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Toss potatoes to coat evenly. Add more seasoning as needed to evenly coat all chunks.

Bake potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan in a 425 F oven. Bake near the bottom of the oven, but not at the very bottom. Bake for 25 minutes.

Switch oven to high broil and move potatoes to the bottom of the top third of the oven. Broil for 10 minutes or until nicely browned and crispy.

In the bowl from earlier, add juice and zest from 1 lime. 1 tsp salt. Grate in 1/2 inch fresh ginger. Grate in 1  clove of garlic. Whisk in 2 tbls olive oil.

To keep potatoes crispy, dress them with the vinaigrette immediately before serving.