What quick and nutritious meals can you rustle up in just 15 minutes — from scratch? Scrambled eggs? Cheese on toast?
How about a delicious lentil and bacon soup?
Ordinarily, lentils take an age to cook but with the help of our trusty pressure cooker, we can whip up the most amazing, thick and delicious soup in just 15 minutes.
Pressure cookers used to be considered a really old fashioned way to cook, didn’t they?
My mum’s one would scare us all half to death; the little pressure valve on the top would rattle around like a thing possessed and steam would shoot out of the top.
And it was SO noisy!
The new breed of pressure cookers are so different. Our Prestige Smart Plus 6L stainless steel pressure cooker is quiet, easy to use and — best of all — it’s super-quick.
No Pressure Cooking
A pressure cooker is almost the antithesis of a slow-cooker. With a slow cooker, you throw everything into the pot in the morning, then it’s ready in time for your evening meal.
The pressure cooker gives you the same kind of result, but in a fraction of the time. You can cook curries, risottos, casseroles, or tagines in just minutes.
Plus, in numerous studies, it’s been noted that pressure cooking has been found to preserve the nutrients in food better than any other method. The vitamin retention is even higher than steaming; which means that, as well as being super quick, food prepared in a pressure cooker is really healthy too.
It locks in all the nutrients, as it cooks food in a shorter amount of time.
For busy families, it’s a godsend.
Keep your microwave — pressure cooking is definitely where it’s at.
It’s the best way to create a healthy and nutritious meal — from scratch — in record time.
How it Works
Pressure cookers work by locking in the steam and circulating it around the pan at pressure which, in turn, seals in all the flavour. It might sound a little bit daunting, but it’s really safe. Our Prestige pan has a mechanical locking device, which means the lid can’t be opened when it’s cooking.
There is a pressure regulator, which rises when it is at pressure.
Plus there are 2 pressure settings — 8lb and 12lb — to give more control.
Once the cooking process has finished, there’s a clever directional pressure release valve, which enables me to control the direction of the steam. The pressure regulator tells me when all the pressure has been released and then I can safely take off the lid to reveal what’s inside!
With winter just around the corner, I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes with you. It’s a hearty, 15 Minute Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup.
A firm favourite with my three boys and me, it’s something that I can whip up in next to no time.
And — even though it’s a soup — it’s so filling and tasty that we regularly have it for supper.
Served with crusty bread, it’s a brilliant and quick meal.
The twins love it — and I love the fact that I know exactly what’s in the food that I’m putting on the table.
15 Minute Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup
You will need:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 diced onions
2 packs bacon lardons (around 250g in total)
4 small, finely diced carrots (about 240g)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
4 finely chopped garlic cloves
3 chicken stock pots
500g red lentils
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add the bacon, followed by the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook on a low to medium heat until the onions are soft.
3. Add the cumin and turmeric, then cook for a further 1–2 minutes until the mixture is coated in the spices and the aromas have been released.
4. Add the lentils to the pot — then pour over 2.5 litres of boiling water, mixed with the chicken stock.
5. Close the lid and set over high heat. When the pressure is reached (the little red indicator will pop up), then reduce the heat to the minimum to maintain pressure and time for 10 minutes.
6. When the time is up, turn off the heat allow the pressure to drop naturally until the pressure indicator has dropped.
7. Serve and enjoy with crusty bread!
So there we have it; prep to plate in just 15 minutes.
The quickest and easiest way I’ve found to cook lentils — once the pot is at pressure it takes just 10 minutes.
That’s quicker than opening a can and heating up the contents.
The difference being, all the ingredients in this soup are totally natural; no preservatives, no extra salt, just lovely wholesome stuff.
Perfect for busy parents and hungry little children. And one very compelling reason to invest in a pressure cooker, if you don’t already have one!
Thanks so much to the lovely folk at Prestige for inviting me to review the fabulous Smart Plus Pressure Cooker. We’ve been using a pressure cooker for years but are totally smitten by this new and improved version!
Prestige are currently working with the lovely Stacey Solomon to promote their brilliant range of pressure cookers — she’s a total convert too and has developed some fabulous pressure cooker recipes; including Massaman Beef Curry and Salmon Risotto.
To see more of their brilliant range of cookware, have a look at their website.
Although this is a collaborative post, all thoughts, words and images — as ever — are entirely my own.