I purchased my first electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot, many years ago so that I could easily cook beans from scratch. But after getting Jill Nussinow’s book The New Fast Food, I learned that I could use my new appliance to make everything from grains to soups to one-pot meals in a matter of minutes.
I first saw a stove-top pressure cooker in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s when Holly Golightly has this kitchen disaster:
Fortunately both the stove-top and electric versions are much safer and easier to use than they used to be!
Jill explains in her latest book Vegan Under Pressure how the pressure cooker works and provides useful timing charts for cooking every variety of grain, bean, and vegetable you can think of. She really makes it foolproof.
Some of the recipes I’m looking forward to trying in this book are the Tapioca Berry Parfait and the Thai Red Curry.
Here is one of the recipes from the book, Borscht with a Lemon Twist and Greens, for you to try:
Photo © Lauren Volo.
Borscht with a Lemon Twist and Greens
- 1 cup red onion diced
- 1 cup carrots diced (2 medium carrots)
- ½ teaspoon dill
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cups red cabbage finely sliced (about ½ medium head)
- 1 pound beets (2 to 3 medium), ideally with their greens, washed well, roots chopped
- ½ cup red lentils rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 lemon (juice and grated zest)
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 2-3 cups beet greens or Swiss chard finely chopped
- fresh flat-leaf parsley finely chopped (or chives or dill) for garnish
- nondairy yogurt for garnish
- Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric cooker to sauté. Add the onion and carrots and dry sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the dill, caraway, bay leaves, cabbage, beet roots, lentils, and stock.
- Lock the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pressure; cook for 8 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from you.
- Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove and discard the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender if you have one, puree the soup in the pot to the consistency that you like. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully blend in batches in a regular blender.) Add the lemon zest and juice and smoked salt, if using.
- Add the beet greens or chard to the soup; or add to individual serving bowls. Spoon the hot soup over the greens. Garnish with herbs and a dollop of nondairy yogurt.
Do you use a pressure cooker? What do you like to make in it? Please let me know in the comments!