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 Stroganoff Recipe

Not sure what inspired me to create a stroganoff like pasta sauce. I guess I just wanted something different from my usual fare. I have a penchant for italian, mexican and thai flavors. But sometimes something totally different is exactly what you're craving.

I remember liking beef stroganoff as a kid. Or rather, that hamburger helper version that my mother used to make. Hardly authentic, but it was pretty tasty to my teenage palate.

Here, I was going for a creamy, mushroomy sauce with that great depth you would get from beef stock and/or beef, but obviously without actually using anything beef or beef derived.

The resultant creation was thick, rich, super tasty and heartily satisfying.

1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 anaheim peppper, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 can coconut milk
1 can black beans/can brine
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup dill pickle brine
1 tbl spicy mustard
1 tbl capers
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl ap flour

2 tps paprika
1 tsp dry savory
1 tsp dry parsley, use a few handfuls fresh parsley if you have it
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps black pepper

8 ounces dry pasta, cooked

In a very large/high sides skillet cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente. Set aside. Discard pasta water. Use same pan to cook the sauce. Starches left over from cooking the pasta will help thicken it and season it.

Cook down first set of ingredients in the oil. When mushrooms are nicely browned deglaze with the wine. Cook off wine for 5 minutes. Add beans/brine, pickle brine and mustard. Cook 5 more minutes. Add coconut milk, spices. Keep at a steady simmer until sauce begins to thicken up a bit. Sprinkle in flour. Stir to evenly distribute. Cook 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and let rest several minutes.