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. 


Vegan Chinese Vegetable Soup

This a very clean and simple application of a few of the vegetable world's most amazing flavors. An exercise in how powerful a minimal set of gorgeous ingredients can truly be.

A good broth is a pleasure to eat and much simpler to make than most would think.

3 shallots, sliced
1 inch ginger, peeled, diced
7 cloves garlic, chunked
1 pint button mushrooms, diced
2 bunches bok choy, ribboned
3 dried japanese chiles

1/2 cup red wine
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps asian garlic chili paste
1 tsp spicy mustard
2 tbls low sodium soy sauce
1 can chick peas, plus liquid
2 1/2 cups water

2 tsps black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

Add shallots, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, chiles, oil, wine, chick pea can liquid, chili paste, mustard, soy sauce, water, black pepper, salt, pepper flakes and cayenne to a large pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chick peas and bok choy. Simmer 5 more minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in parsley. Let sit 3 more minutes.

Serve with rice and sauteed bok choy.

If you have the time, allowing it to rest a few hours or overnight in the fridge will intensify the flavors.