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. 


Chile and Garlic Tofu Puree

Lots and lots of garlic make this small set of ingredients one of the tastiest things I've ever put in my mouth. Simple is often best. 

When there aren't a lot of ingredients, you can ensure that the ones you do use, really shine. 

1/2 block silken firm tofu
12 cloves garlic, peeled and destemmed
1 jalapeno, chunked
1 serrano, chunked
3 tbls olive oil
2 1/2 tsps salt

Puree in food processor until smooth and creamy. 

This puree boasts a big hit of protein thanks to the tofu. It packs a lot of heat and intense garlic flavor. I love it. The olive oil gives it richness. You really have to think about fat when making vegan food. It needs that unctuousness since it's lacking animal fat. A good dose of oil goes a long way to making plant based foods truly delicious. 

It has a beautiful light green color thanks to the addition of the chiles. 

If it sounds too intense for you, a nice variation might be to roast the garlic first and/or char the chiles.