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 Pasta Al Fresco Recipe

This exceedingly easy to cook recipe yields extraordinary flavor.

The minimalist ingredients of Italy have an almost magical ability to deliver a huge bounty of deliciousness. This truly is an example of the sum being greater than its parts.

Traditional recipes will call for any number of cheeses. Parmesan, mozzarella, etc. Leaving out the cheese allows the tomatoes and garlic to really shine.

If there's one major foodie benefit to cooking vegan, it has to be that you learn to respect the potency that fruits and vegetables have to offer. Given the chance to really stand on their own, unfettered by unnecessary dairy, they will really surprise you.

Parsley is one of those herbs that most people dismiss. It's true that dried parsley offers nothing worthwhile to a cook. Fresh parsley on the other hand, is a powerhouse ingredient that deserves your respect.

2 cups dry elbow pasta + 1/3 cup pasta water
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeno, sliced
7 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can garbanzos, plus brine
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 tsps dry thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsps crushed pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 ts black pepper

Cook pasta to al dente. Add broccoli, Set aside.

Heat oil in a very large skillet Add tomatoes, salt and black pepper. Blister the tomatoes over medium high heat for 7 minutes. Add wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add garbanzos, brine, garlic, jalapeno, remaining dry spices. Simmer 5 more minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in parsley. Rest on stove for 3 minutes.

Pour tomato mixture over pasta/broccoli. Stir to combine. Cover. Rest for 7 minutes.