Friday, November 19, 2010


Best Blog Tips

In this post about my new Cuisinart electric pressure cooker, I promised to post the very first recipe I tried in it, so I am doing so in today's post.  It's actually a vegan adaptation of a recipe that was in the instruction booklet that came with the pressure cooker.  I decided to try their recipe (more or less) so that I could learn the ins and outs of the cooker.  I didn't want to wing it with my own recipe until I knew what I was doing-- how much liquid you could use, etc., etc.

I chose the black bean soup because I love black beans, I had some in my pantry, and they are so good for you!  (See this info.)  It was a delicious whole-meal soup-- I will definitely make it again!  And it was finished in about an hour, with very little effort on my part, from UN-soaked dried beans!

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA’S VEGAN VERSION OF PRESSURE COOKER Cuban Black Bean Soup (with SPICY vegan sausage option)

Makes about 10 cups

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or dark sesame oil (or a mixture)
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/4 cups chopped red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
6 cups vegan broth
1 lb. dry black beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoon soy bacon bits or chips, or 1/2 cup chopped vegan “ham”
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup dry to medium-dry sherry
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
10-12 ounces spicy vegan sausages cut  into 1/4-1/2” slices (such as Tofurkey Italian, or Field Roast Chipotle--my favorite!-- or Italian)
Garnishes: (Choose any)
Fresh chopped parsley; vegan “sour cream”; diced avocado,
chopped red bell pepper; chopped red onion; sweet corn kernels
(This soup can also be served with a scoop of steamed rice.)

Add oil to the pot and heat (select Sauté mode in the Cuisinart cooker).  Add the chopped onions, ¾ cup of the chopped red bell pepper, garlic, oregano, cumin and coriander.  Sir-cook until the onions are translucent and tender. Add the broth, black beans, soy bacon bits or “ham”, liquid smoke, and bay leaf.  Lock the lid in place, bring up to high pressure (15 lbs.) and, if using the Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker, set the timer to 30 minutes.  If using a stovetop pressure cooker, adjust your heat to keep the pressure steady and time it for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the Cuisinart cooker will automatically start natural pressure release, which will take about 20 minutes.  If using a stovetop cooker, remove from the heat and let the pressure drop naturally.

When the float valve drops (in the Cuisinart cooker), or the pressure is released from a stovetop cooker, remove the lid carefully and remove the bay leaf.  Use a stick blender or a potato masher to smash the beans to the desired consistency.  (Unplug the Cuisinart cooker first, and be careful using the stick blender to avoid scratching the insert.)

If using, quickly brown the vegan sausage slices in a lightly-oiled nonstick skillet, then add them to the soup, along with the remaining ingredients (cayenne, sherry, red wine vinegar and salt.)  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, without pressure.  (In the Cuisinart cooker, there is a Simmer mode.)

Serve with the Garnishes.



Jen Treehugger said...

Oooh this looks and sounds wonderful - a perfect winter warmer.

cv said...

Thanks for the recipe, Bryanna. It sounds delicious! I love the idea of not soaking the beans but am curious if you experienced any difference digestion-wise with this method, as that concerns me more than the time-saving aspect.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

CV, we didn't notice any digestive problems! Beans get quite soft in a pressure cooker.

The Veggie Queen said...

Even though you can cook beans from dry in the pressure cooker, you actually use less energy and often have a better tasting product if you presoak. I have timed the difference but it is possible to do, which is good to know.
Since I almost always soak my beans, I cannot recall any issue the one time that I did the beans from dry. I am so used to spending less than 10 minutes cooking at pressure, that 25 minutes seemed like a very long time. All perspective.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

All true, Jill-- but, if you have a spur of the moment yearning for bean soup.....!

The Veggie Queen said...

Yes, Bryanna, that's why I once made my beans from dry. I had to have black beans that night and I rarely have canned beans around anymore since I've been pressure cooking. I make lots and freeze them. Best way.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I do that, too, Jill-- my freezer is full of chickpeas, pinto beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, and, now, black beans, too! But, at the time, I was all out! And many cooks don't plan ahead all the time, so this is a good alternative.

GemueseGirl said...

Immediately ordered a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker on Amazon, and yesterday cooked the first batch of unsoaked garbanzo beans. Love it! Finally on my way to leave the canned beans etc behind. Yay!

in2insight said...

Happy New Year!

At long last I made this last night and it is one amazing soup.
The flavors are rich and complex. Nice textures with the beans half mashed.
Ended up not using any toppings as the soup itself was just so good.
Thank you for creating and sharing this recipe.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

So glad you enjoyed it, in2insight!