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 Minestrone Recipe

The interesting thing about this recipe is that you prepare the ingredients in your pot and then you let them just sit for a while before cooking them. This softens the lentils and allows the flavors to gently develop and marry. It saves time tending to on the stove top while still producing that long simmered depth.

V8 juice is a convenient substitute for tomato puree and vegetable broth. Not much is needed to create that unctuous minestrone base to support our other fresh ingredients.

There are a bunch of hot peppers in this, but it's not very hot. They mellow nicely over the course of the preparation. But if you don't like too much heat, just cut back on the amount of each pepper. I wouldn't recommend not adding them at all. It's the medley of different peppers that creates a certain umami that would be lost otherwise. Just use less according to your personal heat tolerance.

1/2 cup dry lentils
1 small can low sodium V8 juice
3 cups water
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl spicy mustard
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 poblano, diced
1 serrano, minced
1 habernero, minced
1 cup arugula
2  tbls nutritional yeast
liquid from one can of black, red or pinto beans and 1/2 the beans
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Add everything, except arugula to a larger sauce pot. Set aside for 1-2 hours. Then simmer covered for 10-15 minutes. Until lentils are tender. Turn off heat. Stir in arugula and allow to wilt slightly.