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: Ultimate Creamy Mushroom Risotto

When you think vegan, you don't typically think of creamy. Nevertheless, there are tricks we use to recreate that texture and sensation because it is a great one. Just because we forgo dairy doesn't mean we should miss out on the pleasures it has to offer. We just have to get creative.

Vegan mayo is the secret in this case. I purchased some to see what it's like. I'd never had it before. I was really amazed at the flavor and texture. Spot on in both respects.

Normally, you'd add cheese to risotto to finish it and give it that rich, creamy texture. In our case, vegan mayo offers the same results without the dairy.

3/4 cup arborrio rice
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans and the can brine
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup brandy
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 a poblano pepper, diced
2 heaping tbls vegan mayo
2 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 handfuls fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbls olive oil
room temp water as needed

Saute the onion, mushroom garlic, jalapeno, salt and black pepper in the oil on medium. Cook until mushrooms are nicely darkened. Deglaze with the wine. Cook down until wine is evaporated. Add brandy. Cook 2 more minutes. Add rice. Toast rice for 3 minutes. Add beans/brine and a1/2 cup water.

Simmer on high. Stir often. Continue adding water in 1 cup increments as needed. Stirring often.

When rice is only slightly crunchy, about 3 cups water later, add bell pepper, poblano, basil, pepper flakes. Continue simmering. Adding water in 1/2 cup increments now, until rice is tender and creamy.

Turn off heat. Stir in parsley and vegan mayo. Let rest for 5 minutes.