Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Instant Pot Adventures - New England Glam Chowder

I knew I wanted to make a soup last night. There is a lot of illness going around and Dema hasn't been feeling great. Soup is always a comfort food, but also for healing, in my mind. We've also had no sun and lots of fog, rain, drizzle, which makes everyone a bit off. Soup to the rescue!

I haven't looked through a cookbook in a while so I turned to Isa Does It! for inspiration. I found her New England Glam Chowder recipe. I'd never made it before and I could see right away how I could use the Instant Pot.

I didn't really follow the recipe, but I used it as a rough guide. I sautéed red onion and minced garlic in a bit of leftover red wine in the Instant Pot. Once the wine cooked off, I added cubed white potatoes, two large carrots chopped, and one cup of vegetable broth. I didn't see a lot of herbs in Isa's recipe and I always add turmeric if I can so I added a bit of iodized salt, turmeric, black pepper, and oregano. Red lentils are a soup staple for me. I add them as much as possible since they give everything an easy nutrient boost.

After I threw in the lentils, I added three more cups of water and a better than bouillon cube. The recipe called for soaked cashews and I never soak my cashews. I was also too lazy to use the Vitamin so I added the cashews, as is (raw pieces), to the Instant Pot. I stirred it all together and pressure cooked it for ten minutes. After the Instant Pot was done, I knew I was going to puree everything that had just cooked, but I didn't want the entire soup to be smooth.
Mushrooms and veggies being added to the pureed soup base.
While the base for the soup was cooking, I put the mushrooms in my cast iron pan to cook them with more turmeric, black pepper, and za'atar. When the mushrooms were almost done, I added two diced carrots (Josie hates mushy carrots so I wanted some carrots to have some crunch left), two diced celery stalks, one diced red pepper, and one bunch of kale chopped. When the Instant Pot was finished, I pureed the ingredients with some chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and lemon juice added. Then I dumped the mushrooms and veggies into the Instant Pot to mix them in and keep the soup warm. At the end, I tore up a nori sheet and added that to the soup.
New England Glam Chowder with chipotle seitan crumbles and a slice of Pain de Julia bread from our local bakery.
I also warmed up some chipotle seitan crumbles for an optional topping on the soup. It came together very quickly, was warming and filling, and Rob (the only person in the family to ever try real clam chowder) said it was pretty clam chowder tasting. I would skip the nori next time because I really can't stand fishy taste or I wold have it optional since the rest of the family seemed to like it. The kids prefer smooth soups and Rob prefers chunky so this was a perfect compromise and I'll definitely make it again. It was fun to modify a recipe to incorporate the Instant Pot. I feel like I'm getting more familiar with ways to use the IP. I love it for keeping soup warm because I could never just leave a soup this tick on my stove burner set at low without a lot of babysitting. I could have cooked the base for less time, but I wanted to make sure the lentils were done, the potatoes were soft, and the cashews could be pureed easily. I also wasn't in a hurry.

Going back to my How Not to Die app, I will just count everything even if when eating a bowl of soup you might not get an entire serving. This meal has a "serving" of greens, all your your "other veggies", nuts, spices, and a "serving" of beans. I had a big spinach salad for lunch with three kinds of beans, dried cranberries, quinoa, broccoli, sunflower seeds, etc. so I was already pretty well set as far as HNtD and this soup got me over the hump. Most days I'm in the 70% without even thinking about it, but I don't always get everything in daily. I love days when I reach 100% on the app!

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