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. 


Nectar of the Gods Vegan Soup

It hasn't been all that cold yet, even though it's almost November. Still, my stomach is craving cold weather foods. I was going for a hearty vegetable broth based soup. I also wanted to see if I could successfully incorporate some vegan pea protein powder into the finished dish.

It's my first time using it and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I made sure to get an unflavored variety so it would be more versatile. It gave the broth a really nice color, but it's mostly flavorless. I kind of has a mild flour flavor to me. Which is fine by me. If I can put it into dishes and not notice it's there, that makes things easy. Other than that, my soup is a pretty classic vegetable soup  Of course, it's me, so it packs some heat.

It's got quite a lot of depth considering I only simmered it for maybe 20 minutes after sweating the aromatics. My secret for a really tasty broth is turmeric and paprika. They really go a long way to creating that familiar childhood homemade soup flavor without animal products and in a minimal amount of time.

This recipe makes a very large pot of soup. Feel free to halve or quarter everything.

1/4 pound celery hearts, thinly sliced
1/2 pint button mushrooms, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 long hot pepper, sliced
3 jalapeno peppers, deseeded, deveined, minced
2 serrano peppers, sliced
2 habernero peppers, deseeded, deveined, minced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzos, drained
1 large dinner plate full of chopped fresh kale
6 cups water
3 tbls pea protein powder
2 tbls spicy mustard
1 1/2 tbls turmeric
1 1/2 tbls paprika
1 1/2 tbls salt
1 tbl fresh black pepper
2 tbls olive oil, I used basil infused

In a large stock pot, sweat the celery, mushrooms and onions with half the salt. When they start to go soft add your oil and continue to sweat over low heat until they are very tender.

Add water and kale. Turn heat to medium. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, except tomatoes.

Summer 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Sprinkle with course black or sea salt to serve.