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. 


Garlic Beer Flat Bread

I wanted to make a bread that didn't require baking in the oven and also didn't need an hour to rise. Flat bread can be yeast leavened or not. I googgled some flat bread recipes. I kind of took a few hints from several and worked the rest out on my own.

Dough is intuitive. You can't blindly follow the recipe. You have to feel it out along the way. It's not complicated though. A little salt, a little fat and suss out the right proportion of flour to liquid.

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup beer
1/2 cup seltzer, maybe more
1 tsp salt
1 tsps dry parsley
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tbls olive oil

Add dry ingredients, including garlic, to a mixing bowl. Add oil, beer and 1/2 cup seltzer. Stir to combine. Add more seltzer as needed until all the dry is incorporated into the dough.  Cover and let dough rest for 30 minutes in fridge.

Turn onto a floured surface. Knead, incorporating more flour as needed to make the dough less sticky. Knead for a while until dough begins to stiffen.

I prefer a chewier bread. So I like to knead and create gluten. It's personal preference. Knead less for a more tender final product or more for a denser result.

Portion dough into single servings. Press into flat shapes. Brush with more olive oil.

Cook in a hot skillet until both sides are golden and dough is cooked in the middle. Press with a spatula in the pan to get a thinner, crisper result. Keep it a medium heat. Give the bread a chance to cook through before it's too browned.

The more you knead it, the chewier your end result. The thinner you flatten it, the crispier your bread.

It's an easy and tasty way to make bread.