Cookbook project, recipe #1: Potato, Apple, and Lentil Soup from JL Goes Vegan

After I bought my last book on the topic of food, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, Greg made the very reasonable request that I stop buying new vegetarian/vegan cookbooks until I’d actually used the, oh, I don’t know, maybe thirty or so I have already? I’m a bit of an addict. You know those people who armchair travel, their shelves filled with guidebooks they have no intention of ever using? My vegan cookbook collection is a bit like that, except that I have every intention of using them. I just also happen to have a lot of food and cooking anxiety (long story), and a frequently-acknowledged dislike of vegetables.

But that doesn’t seem to stop me buying cookbooks. Every single one is an inspiration, a dream, a lifestyle in the kitchen, an entire relationship with my farmer’s market, just waiting to happen. If only I’d just get off my duff and really get in there and cook.

book. vegan pressure cookingMy favorite vegan blogger, JL of JL Goes Vegan, recently came out with a new book, Vegan Pressure Cooking. I already loved her book Vegan for Her, and so I had to get the new one. So I did…but only with the promise that really, no, seriously, I will start cooking out of these books. I SWEAR. Starting right now.

I started this little project by removing all my other cookbooks off the shelf over my counter. I had too many, and as Barry Schwartz taught me years ago, too much choice can be crippling, and lead to making no choice at all (certainly that’s what’s been happening with cooking).  In their place, I put out all my vinegars and olive oils, to inspire me. Finally, at one end of the shelf, I put three things:

  1. My personal cookbook that I’m building out of recipes I like.
  2. My copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (when it comes to cooking, it really is the bible).
  3. Whatever cookbook on which I’m currently focusing my efforts.

Tonight, that cookbook is my newly-arrived Vegan Pressure Cooking. I started with Potato, Apple, and Lentil Soup (page 71 for those of you following along at home). It was delicious!

I’d link to the recipe online, but a search of her website tells me that she doesn’t have this one public. It’s a very easy soup recipe, that starts with a light sauté, after which you add liquid and the main ingredients, and then bring it up to high pressure for 10 minutes. I ended up going with 12 minutes, since her recipes are intended for a regular stovetop pressure cooker and I’m using the Instant Pot, an electric model, and the electric models are frequently a little slower. But heck, soup in 12 minutes? I’m there.

Our 10-year-old thought it was a “little too spicy”, but her palate leans heavily toward sour flavors, she’s not big into spice. The three adults who had the soup thought it was a very nice amount of spice, and we devoured it. I went in for my second bowl, and had to fight for it; we’d run out and there was only half a bowl left. In our house, that’s a surefire winner. I spent a few minutes tonight copying this recipe into my personal cookbook, adding my usual notes about the date, who liked it, how spicy I made it, and any modifications. I think this recipe will hold up very well.

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