May 16, 2010

Pressure Cooker Kitchen-Sink Soup

I've learned a lot of things having a blog. One of them is that I need new plates. Vintage Mikasa black and yellow stoneware from the 70s just doesn't photograph that well. Nor does it make food look very appetizing.

Which is a shame, as this is a very appetizing soup. Also a thrifty one. The Vegetarian loves soup and I am always looking to make a hearty, nutritious one for her.

About once a week or so  I make what I call kitchen-sink soup, which is basically a lot of the leftover vegetables, beans, and rice in my fridge simmered together with a magic ingredient: a parmesan cheese rind. The rind is essential for a vegetarian soup—it adds that meaty, salty, umami quality that I used to to get by adding bacon or salami in the PV (pre-vegetarian) days.

In the old days I didn't make kitchen-sink soup as often as I wanted to because it involved a couple of hours of stovetop simmering and when it occurred to me to make the soup, I usually didn't have that much time before dinner.

But then enter my pressure cooker (HIMHMILMPC?). Now I can bung all the ingredients in there and voila!—soup in about 30 minutes.

The kitchen-sink soup pictured here contains some chinese-food leftovers (stir-fried spinach and white rice)  a can of cannelini beans, some leftover canned tomatoes, parsley, garlic, thyme—and the parmesan rind. All of it was languishing in my fridge, except the parmesan rind, which i keep a bag of in the freezer.

You can start the usual way by sauteeing some aromatics (onion, garlic, carrot, celery, etc) but this time I just threw everything into the pot with some broth and water. Sometimes I sneak chicken broth into the soup, but this time I think I used vegetable broth. I can't remember. I brought everything up to a boil and then cooked it on high pressure for about 20 minutes, letting the pressure come down naturally.

If I'm giving the Vegetarian the soup for dinner, I'll sometimes poach an egg in her serving, for added protein. Together with some whole grain toast, it makes for a fast and delicious vegetarian meal.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Now I know why I have been saving those Parmesan rinds!!!

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