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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Delicious Soup and a Bonus Pressure Cooker Bean and Grain Guide

This recipe makes enough for 20, but it also freezes really well, so honestly, I would recommend making it in this quantity, eating some for lunch the next day and freezing the rest. This is an easy to modify recipe, and if you had summer squash, that would be a great addition to include when you put the potatoes and carrots in the pot.

Arabic Beef and Vegetable Soup


olive oil
3 pounds boneless beef stew meat or 4 pounds bone in meat such as shank
salt and pepper
6 large onions, peeled and diced
1 large bunch celery or 2 hearts of celery, trimmed and finely sliced, including leaves
1 large bunch cilantro, trimmed and minced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, with their juices, snipped with kitchen scissors
3 sticks cinnamon
3 bay leaves
12 carrots, peeled and sliced into medium chunks
6 large potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
1 large bunch parsley, trimmed and minced
1 pound frozen peas or cooked garbanzo beans (optional)

I used a counter top electric pressure cooker and the shank meat, but you could use a regular pot and cook longer on the stove.

Heat oil on sauté function of pressure cooker and season meat generously with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, then remove from the pot to a plate.

Add more oil, if necessary, and add onions and celery, stirring until they are translucent. Add the cilantro and garlic, and stir for a minute more. Return the meat to the pot, add the canned tomatoes and their juices, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and about 12 cups of water. Add salt to taste. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.

Release the pressure, remove the meat if it is on the bone to cut into bite sized pieces off of the bone and return to the pot, then add the carrots and potatoes (add the summer squash at this point if you wish). Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Release pressure and add the parsley, peas or garbanzo beans (if you are including them), and stir to heat. Remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper, as necessary.

I like to serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dollop of a garlic paste made with fresh garlic and salt.


Beans and Grains in the Pressure Cooker

Some people recommend cooking your beans and legumes without salt. Some people are wrong. There is a misguided idea that this somehow prolongs the cooking time. The only thing that does that is age. Cook your beans with salt. I use a tablespoon of kosher salt to every two pounds of dry beans (about 4 cups). This is not enough to make them salty, just enough to bring out their flavor. You will want to add more salt and seasoning depending on what you are making with them afterward. If you like, you may add herbs to the beans as they cook, or sauté onions and garlic in the pot with a little oil or bacon grease first, then add the beans, salt, water, and herbs. I tend to cook them fairly plainly, as I make a lot so I can freeze them to use later.

I will give both soaked and unsoaked times here, but for most beans, the texture is so much better if you soak them first, and you don't have to use as much water, electricity, heat, and time if you soak them first. The soaking water can be used to water your plants or animals. Lentils, however, never need to be soaked, just rinse them and cook them. I don't have kidney type beans listed here, just because I don't care for them and never use them. If you do, though, remember that they, like navy beans, must be boiled for about 15 minutes and then drained and cooked again in fresh water. Navy beans need long boiling, not just the low simmer of other beans, or they will not soften.

I have included information on some grains and rice, as well. Most of these should be cooked at high pressure and then have a natural release. The big exceptions are the rice and lentils, those have some more specific instruction in the chart.


Soaked Legumes:

Black Beans

Fava Beans

Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas

Pinto Type Beans

White Beans (not navy)

Unsoaked Legumes:

Black Beans

Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas

Green Lentils

Red Lentils

Pinto Type Beans

White Beans (not navy)

Grains and Rice:

Basmati Rice

Jasmine or Sushi Rice

Arborio or Carnaroli Rice

Aged Brown Basmati Rice

Kamut Berries

Spelt Berries
Ratio of Legume/Grain to Water; Time at High Pressure; Yield per Cup:

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 6 minutes; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 1 Cup; 5 - 10 minutes; 2 1/2 - 3 Cups

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 7 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 6 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 7 minutes; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups



1 : 2 Cups; 18 - 25 minutes; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 22 - 25 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 4 - 6 minutes/Quick Release; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 4 - 6 minutes/Quick Release; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 20 - 25 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 20 - 25 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups



1 : 1 Cup; 5 minutes/5 minutes NR/Quick Release/Fluff & 5 minutes rest; 3 Cups

1 : 1 1/4 Cups; 3 minutes; 3 Cups

1 : 3 1/2 Cups; 5 - 7 minutes; 4 Cups

1 : 1 1/4 Cups; 12 - 15 minutes/5 minutes NR/Quick Release/Fluff & 5 minutes rest; 3 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 10 - 15 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 1 1/2 Cups; 22 minutes; 3 Cups

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Comments:
Do you have a preference for stovetop/ countertop pressure cookers? I want to purchase one, but am confused by all of the options. Thank you!
 
Do you have a preference for stovetop/ countertop pressure cookers? I want to purchase one, but am confused by all of the options. Thank you!
 
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