Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure

Under pressure to prepare a quick, nutritious dinner or to reduce your fat and cholesterol? Bursting with rich soups, hearty vegetarian stews and casseroles, zesty curries, and flavor-packed chilis, this volume brings together over 150 recipes, most with cooking times of under ten minutes.

“The new pressure cookers are terrific and Lorna Sass has done us all a great favor by demystifying this wonderfully practical tool. [She] turns around the notion that vegetarian food is time consuming to make and [proves it's] possible to have delicious meals, made from scratch, on the table quickly and all the time.”
- Deborah Madison

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White Bean Gazpacho

Serves 6

This is a wonderful version of the traditional gazpacho made by cooking white beans with garlic, onions, and sweet paprika, and then pureeing the mixture. The resultant creamy, salmon-colored bisque sets the stage for chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and green pepper.

A splash of vinegar is added at the end, giving the soup a refreshing lift, much appreciated on a hot summer’s day .

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups dried navy (pea) beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight in ample water to cover or speed-soaked (page 185)
4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional, except for owners of jiggle-top cookers)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
2 large bay leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Salt to taste
1 cup seeded and finely chopped fresh plum tomatoes
1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber (Kirby’s are nice)
1/4 to 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion or scallion greens
1 tablespoon full-flavored olive oil
1 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (sherry wine vinegar is especially good)

Instructions

Drain and rinse the beans. Place them in the cooker with water, oil (if needed), garlic, onions, bay leaves, paprika, and red pepper flakes.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 8 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down naturally or use a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. The beans should be quite soft. If they are not, return to high pressure for a few more minutes or replace (but do not lock) the lid and simmer until beans are done.

Remove the bay leaves and puree the soup in two to three batches in a blender (preferred) or food processor. Add salt. Transfer to large storage container, cover, and chill. Just before serving stir in tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, onion, olive oil, and vinegar to taste. (The soup should have a slight piquant edge.)

Tips & Techniques

There are some interesting alternatives for finishing off the soup. Instead of stirring in the vegetable garnishes, you can serve them in small bowls, allowing each diner to choose among them. (If you do this, it would be a good idea to double the amounts, as some people will take a bit more than I’ve allotted here.)

Another possibility is to combine all of the chopped vegetables and set a mound of the mixture in the center of each bowl of soup.

After chilling, the soup might have to be thinned slightly with vegetable stock (preferred) or water.

From Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. Copyright 2006 Lorna Sass

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