Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lots of Pressure and it All Goes Well

I have been pressure cooking up a storm lately at many different public venues -- and always making incredibly tasty dishes that people love. But I don't do what I do to make great food (although that's certainly the bonus), but to get people thinking about how easily they can do the same themselves,while being energy efficient.

At Solfest in Hopland, CA last week, I had one of my best audiences ever. I think that it's because they knew that they would be learning about pressure cooking, and that's what they came for. Often people think that they will learn about cooking and I spring the scary (NOT) PC on them. They're still waiting for it to blow up, which it will not do.

I tried to put in the Google link to the info with my handouts from Sol Fest but it didn't work. So, below is the recipe that I made.

I, of course, recommend that you only use an old, noisy, jiggle-top cooker if you like it and have experience. Remember, I don't touch that kind -- for the fear that it will blow up. I'm not into explosions of any kind when it comes to food.

White Bean Soup with Garlic, Tomato and Herbs
Makes 8 1 cup servings
7 minutes high pressure, 10 minute natural pressure release; 2 minutes stovetop
This soup tastes so fresh and the colors are attractive. It’s more energy efficient and way less expensive than going to the store for a can of soup, and you can season it however you want.

2 cups Cannellini (Italian white kidney) or Great Northern beans, presoaked or quick soaked
2 teaspoons oil
1 medium onion, diced to equal 1 cup
3 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic, divided
1 cup diced potatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped plus some sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons grated dairy or soy Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add the oil to the cooker over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
2. Add the beans, potatoes, broth and bay leaves. Lock on lid. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure. Set timer for 7 minutes. Turn heat to low to maintain high pressure.
3. When the timer sounds, turn off heat and move pot to a cool spot on the stove. Let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
4. Carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from you. Remove the bay leaves. Using a hand blender, carefully mix the hot soup until it is mostly creamy, with a few whole beans left in for texture.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until they start to soften. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, basil and remaining garlic. Taste and add lemon juice or vinegar and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with the cheese and additional chopped parsley and basil, if desired.

© 2008, The Veggie Queen™, Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, or