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Pantry Basics

Under Pressure
September 15, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Between homework, shuttling to afterschool activities and playdates, dinner seems to be an elusive task this time of year. Frankly, finding time to cook isn’t just a parenting issue anymore either. A good friend who has no children and works in finance seems to have a never ending workday. So what’s a busy person to do when they want home-cooking to be a regular part of their routine? The answer is as easy as investing in a pressure cooker.

Brisket in under an hour? No problem. Lentil soup in ten minutes? Been there, done that. During my catering and personal cheffing years, I relied on pressure cooking when short on time. Now as a mother and career woman, it gives new meaning to the phrase “time is on my side.”

Lentil Soup
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium carrots (5 ounces), diced
1 onion (3.5 ounces), diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup (225 ml) crushed or pureed tomatoes
2 cups (450 ml) water
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup (7 ounces) lentils
1 bay leaf
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

  1. Preheat pressure cooker to saute setting. Add carrots, onions and garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the tomatoes and water; season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils and bay leaf.
  3. Set the cooker to high pressure for 8 minutes. When done, let the pressure release naturally.
  4. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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Add New Comment | Blog Comments (4):

January 2, 2011 5:07 PM Elita
Dose anyone know if you can can with the electric pressure cooker?
January 12, 2011 2:02 PM JenniferT
I love my Cuisinart electronic pressure cooker. The only thing I was wondering: I made a soup in it with cumin and other spices and the sealant ring still smelled like it after I washed it. Anyone know a way to make it fresh again?
July 8, 2012 9:31 AM SeaGal
I would love to know this as well. After losing everything in my freezer for the second time in 4 years due to catastrophic power outages in Ohio, I've decided to give up my freezer and go to canning instead. The ONLY way to go is pressure canning.
February 21, 2013 11:58 AM Sue Ann
Like Elita, I would like to know if you can can with the electric pressure cooker. Thank you for our help.
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