If you’re anything like me, and I’ll bet you are, night after night after night of cooking at home can get tiring. And downright annoying. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook! But I also used to love going out for quick meals that were inexpensive and delicious. Great on the pocketbook, wonderful in the tummy.
After the shock of being diagnosed wears off (it’s been almost two years for me), I soon realized that those quick little jaunts to my favorite local ethnic restaurants were a thing of the past. But I also knew that I couldn’t come up with fabulous meals every night. So, what does a Celiac-loving cook do? I’ve learned shortcuts. One of my favorite toys/tools in the kitchen is my Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker. I can’t believe it took me so many years to finally make it a regular tool in my arsenal of kitchen equipment.
They are not at all like the ones you used to hear about. The new ones have safety mechanisms built right in. No more explosions that permanently change the color of the ceiling in your kitchen.
Tonight, we dined on delicious split pea soup. From start to finish, including prepping the ingredients, it was done in 25 minutes. And it was as good if not better than the best split pea soup you’ve ever eaten!
So, if you’ve been hesitating about purchasing one, wait no more. It is a fantastic way to serve quick delicious meals in the comfort of your own kitchen. I purchased my unit online from Pleasant Hill Grain – it is a Kuhn-Rikon turn-top model. When I purchased it, the cooker came with two cookbooks at no additional cost. I don’t think the company is offering that anymore – though I have to say that it is definitely worth buying at least one pressure cooker cookbook. I have two of them, both by Lorna Sass, and I use them a lot.
Split Pea Soup with Herbes De Provence
from Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass
serves 4 – 6
1 tablespoon safflower or canola oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, and rosemary leaves (I had Herbes De Provence in my cupboard, so I used three teaspoons of it)
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 large bay leaf
2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 large celery ribs, diced
6 cups boiling water
2 cups dried green split peas, picked over and rinsed
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
salt to taste
Heat the oil in the cooker. Cook the garlic over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, just until it begins to brown. Immediately add the onions and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another minute. Stir in the basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel, and bay leaf. Add the carrots, celery, boiling water (stand back to avoid sputtering oil), and split peas.
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 6 minutes (I cooked it for 15 minutes, as that is what I found works best). For a hearty texture, quick-release the pressure by setting the pot under cold running water. For a smoother texture, allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.
Remove the bay leaf. Stir the soup as you add the parsley and salt to taste. This soup will thicken considerably on standing. Thin as needed with water or stock.