As promised, quite some time ago, I’d post some of the dishes I prepare in the pressure cooker, our favorite cooking pan. So, at last, here’s a new one I tried. As I wrote in this post, we love soup from our pressure cooker (we have a 3-liter Hawkins Futura – find it here). It’s easy, cheap, quick, delicious. What’s there not to like? Oh, yes, and it’s healthy too.
One of the challenges in South Korea is buying food in small quantities, especially in supermarkets. Forget about buying rice in less than a 1.5-liter bag, that’s about the smallest size you’ll find. It is more common to buy rice in, oh let’s say, 10 or 20-kilo bags. Where to leave all that in the car? But, on open-air markets you may find foods like legumes and rice at a requested quantity.
The trickier issue is vegetables. Simply forget about buying 2 or 3 bananas; you have to buy the bunch. Or garlic, buying just 1 or 2 bulbs is a quest in itself as here they are sold by the dozens (note the plural). Everything in this country goes in large quantities (e.g. in supermarkets you can’t find toilet paper less than 8 rolls packed in plastic; it took me a while to discover the CU, a common convenient store where you can buy 2 in a pack).
Anyway, what can I do with a bundle of 10 pieces of leek? Making soup seems the only answer to me, and so that’s what I did. I also found some sweet potatoes, which are not that common here so bought a couple of them (I wanted 2, but had to buy 6). I still had a lot of cherry tomatoes that had been given to us by a woman who had harvested them in her vegetable garden.
That’s how I got my ingredients.
Leek and Sweet Potato Soup (3-liter Pressure Cooker)
- 5 pieces of leek.
- 2 sweet potatoes.
- 2 hands full of cherry tomatoes.
- 1 carrot.
- a quarter of a garlic bulb.
- a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- From Suriname I still had a handful of bulgur left, so decided to use that too.
- Spices: salt, pepper, curry, coriander (cilantro powder), and cumin.
- Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in the pressure cooker.
- Add garlic and spices.
- Add a bit of water when necessary to let the garlic and spices simmer for a minute.
- Add all vegetables and bulgur (and cut more leek until the pan was full).
- Fill up with water.
- Close the lit, bring it to a boil, let it cook for 5 minutes, and turn off the heat, leaving the pressure cooker closed for about 20 minutes.
- Turn it into a smooth, creamy soup using a Bamix hand blender (find it here), which is our latest purchase for our kitchen and on which a blog post will follow.
Quinoa as topping
I always like to add something to give the soup a bit more of a bite. This can be (leftover) rice or legumes, but now I still had a big bag of quinoa. Now that’s a quick one in the pressure cooker!
- Rinse 2 espresso cups of quinoa in water to remove the saponins.
- Bring 3,5 espresso cups of water with a pinch of salt to a boil.
- Add the quinoa to the boiling water.
- Close the lid and right away (!) time 2 minutes, after which you turn off the heat, and let it sit for 8 minutes.
So, contrary to the regular pressure-cooking method, when you start timing only after you start hearing the whistle, this is not necessary with quinoa. Remember: just 2 minutes as soon as you close the lid.
Add one or two tablespoons of quinoa to your soup and you have a perfect meal.
Do you have a favorite soup you’d like to share? Feel free to do so in the comment section below!