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 Recipe Tofu Powered Thai Green Curry

This is a variation on some early recipes I've done for Thai green curry sauce. This time I incorporated tofu into the sauce to thicken it and also to bump up the protein factor.

Coconut milk can sometimes be grainy. Using a blender to puree together the coconut milk and tofu helped to create a smooth texture on the sauce. It's thick, creamy and luscious.

Using the blender also made easy work of the ginger and garlic. Instead of having to microplane them, I let the blades of the blender do the work for me.

Depending on where you live it can be hard to find Thai green curry paste. I just got mine on Amazon.

You could, in theory, make your own paste, but good luck obtaining all the authentic fresh ingredients. Perhaps if you live in a big city, you'd be able to do so. Otherwise, the paste is the real deal. If you've had Thai takeout and wondered how to recreate it, the paste is the secret.

1 can coconut milk
1 can Thai green curry paste
1/2 block silken firm tofu
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1 inch ginger, peeled and chunked
5 cloves garlic
2 shallots, sliced
1 jalapeno, halved and sliced
1 poblano, diced
3 dried japanese chiles, seeds discarded
1 can black beans and the liquid
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery seed

In a blender puree the coconut milk, tofu, garlic, ginger and a 5 of the mushroom slices. Set aside

Saute rest of the mushrooms and shallots in olive oil until nicely caramelized. Add coconut milk mixture, black beans/liquid, salt, black pepper, celery seed, curry paste and japanese chiles. Stir to incorporated paste into the liquids. Simmer 10 minutes. Add jalapeno and poblano. Continue simmering until sauce is reduced by 1/3 and nicely thickened.