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. 


Turmeric and Paprika Lentils and Barley

Turmeric adds a unique flavor to any dish. One of the my favorite spice combinations is turmeric and paprika. They just make for a beautiful, deep flavor when accompanied by the right supporting players.

Indian and Asian cuisine are a natural fusion. They have so much in common. India is in Asia, of course. So it's already Asian cuisine. But when I think of Asian food, I think of Chinese, Thai and Japanese.

This recipe is essentially, a minimalist curry that borrows from both cultures. A deeply flavored broth is sucked up by the lentils and the barley. Creating a beautiful taste to both and yielding an unctuous and rich broth.

Red wine isn't a typical component in either Asian or Indian dishes, but I love how it works with the traditional of spices and veg. You can pretty much add wine to any savory recipe and it will improve it by leaps and bounds.

1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 poblano, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 jalapeno, diced
1 serrano, diced
1 inch ginger, minced

2 tsps spicy mustard
2 tbls low sodium soy sauce
2 tbls asian garlic chili sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
3 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup red wine

2 1/2 tsps turmeric
2 1/2 tsps paprika
2 tps salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsps seasame seed
2 tsps black pepper
2 handfuls fresh parsley

water as needed

Add all veg to large saute pan, plus salt and black pepper. Cook until pan is hot. Add oil. Stir to coat. Simmer 2 more minutes. Add wine. Cook down for 5 minutes. Add lentils, barley, spices, sauces, 1 cup water. Cover and simmer until liquid is absobred. Add more water, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed until lentils and barley are barely tender. Stirring occasionally. When lentils and barley are just barely tender stir in 1/2 cup more water and parsley. Cover. Turn off heat. Allow to rest in hot pan on hot burner.