I recently heard a chef say that there’s two types of people; those who are soup people, and those who aren’t. I am definitely not a soup person. When eating out there’s just always something better on the menu when it comes to starters, and I’ve always felt that soup is just a bit of a cop-out. That being said, there’s definitely a time for it at home, especially as it’s now coming up to autumn and winter for those of you in the north. My attempts at making a decent soup in the past though always failed to varying degrees, until I discovered pressure cooker soup.
Making pressure cooker soup not only gives you a great flavoursome product but is extremely fast. You’ll go from whole cauliflower or carrot or squash or whatever vegetable you fancy to sitting down and eating in under 30 minutes once you get the hang of it; that’s a real 30 minutes too, not some Jamie Oliver-style tricky editing to make it look like it’s achievable.
When making pressure cooker soup there’s also no need for a wide variety of ingredients to make the final product tasty as well, all you need is the vegetable you want, and then a few store cupboard bits that you probably have lying around anyway. Cooking vegetables in a pressure cooker (cooking anything in a pressure cooker actually) keeps many of the flavour compounds you would normally lose during the cooking process, meaning that you get more flavour into your soup.
Here I’ve used cauliflower as an example because it’s probably the most popular in our house, but you can just substitute it for pretty much anything you want. Some other favourites of ours are carrot (with ground and fresh coriander added at the end), squash or pumpkin (with a little cinnamon and cumin), and mushroom (fry these off for 5 minutes first, and then serve with fresh tarragon).
A fast and easy way to make a hearty soup out of any vegetable, not just cauliflower. The pressure cooker does the work, and you only need to use your favourite vegetable, simple!
- 500 g cauliflower
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 30 mL water
- 5 g salt uniodized
- 2 g bicarbonate of soda
- 500 mL vegetable stock
Cut the cauliflower into rough florets of around 2cm. Mix the salt and bicarbonate of soda into the water.
Melt the butter in the pressure cooker on a medium-high heat and then add the cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the water, salt and bicarbonate of soda to the pressure cooker before immediately sealing the lid. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes, making sure to use the minimum heat required to maintain pressure.
Depressurise the cooker quickly by running the rim under a tepid tap (don’t worry if some of the cauliflower looks a bit burnt, it’s fine. Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend the mixture into a fine puree.
Slowly add the stock bit by bit, blending after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached. You can always add some more stock or water than the 500 mL if needed.
Season to taste, and serve. A sprinkle of sumac and feta goes well with the cauliflower.