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. 


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta Recipe

A simple pasta treatment that's full of flavor. You can't go wrong with a generous dose of olive oil, garlic and roasted peppers.

All that oil holds onto all those other flavors and envelopes the pasta in them. The roasted peppers add a smokey flavor.

The secret to this dish is to just barely cook the pasta. That way when you saute it in the veggie flavored oil it's still thirsty enough to absorb all the goodness.

1 red bell pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 cup white onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly

1/2 cup olive oil

8 ounces macaroni

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

Roast the bell pepper and the jalapeno over an open flame until the skin blackens.

Cook macaroni to just less than al dente. Drain. Set aside.

Saute all veg and seasonings in oil until just tender. Abotu 5 minutes. Stir in cooked macaroni. Saute a few more minutes, stirring often, until pasta is coated in the oil and veg is soft. Add a little more oil if needed to ensure pasta nicely lubed.