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. 


Pickled Peppers and Pintos

Vegan cooking doesn't always mean turning on the oven or the stove top. Sometimes it's as simple as slicing, dicing and stirring. Some of my favorite meals have come from simply combining some fresh ingredients and giving them a good toss.

That's the beauty of working with vegetables and beans, you don't have to cook them. They are beautiful just the way they are.

Especially in the warmer weather, there's nothing more satisfying than some fresh components coated in a bright dressing of salt, fat, acid and heat. It's flavor on steroid.

Save those pickle jars after you've finished all the pickles. The brine is an easy way to add authentic pickled flavor without the fuss.

2 poblano peppers, diced
1 long hot pepepr, sliced on the bias
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can red beans, rinsed

2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tbl pickle brine
2 tsps sriracha
2 tsps spicy mustard
2 tsps hot sauce

1 tsp celery seed
2 tsps dry oregano
2 tsps onion powder
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper