Pot pies are, without a doubt, one of the most comforting foods on earth.
Unfortunately, most pot pies are made with chicken or meat, leaving vegetarians no choice but to make their pot pies from scratch at home.
In this version of the old classic, mixed vegetables, flavorful herbs, and a creamy sauce are topped with a rich cream cheese crust and then baked in the oven until golden.
Potatoes, onions and carrots are essential in any pot pie but, beyond that, I have left the choice of vegetables up to you.
My favorites include zucchini, red bell pepper, corn and peas but the possibilities are endless.
This recipe is very easy but it still takes a bit of extra time and labor so it's best to save for especially gloomy weekend days.
Vegetable Pot Pie
Simple Green Salad with Vinaigrette
for the crust...
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces, room temperature
for the filling...
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup oil or butter (or a combination of both)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups mixed vegetables (red bell, mushroom, peas, corn, spinach, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.)
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or tarragon
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
1 beaten egg (for glaze)
To make the crust, mix the flour and salt together in a food processor.
Add the butter and cheese and blend until moist clumps form.
Shape the dough into 6-inch long log.
Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator while making the filling.
Steam the cubed potatoes over boiling water until just tender and then set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil or butter in large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrots and garlic and cook until softened (about 5 minutes.)
Add the mixed vegetables and cook for another 3 minutes or so until softened slightly.
Add the herbs and cook for another minute.
Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 1/4 cup oil or butter and sprinkle the flour over.
Whisk for a minute until the flour is fully incorporated and just starting to change color.
Gradually whisk in the stock and milk and bring to gentle simmer.
Simmer until thickened slightly.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the potatoes and mixed vegetables and stir to coat the vegetables in the sauce.
Cut the chilled dough crosswise into 6 equal pieces.
Roll out the pieces to 7-inch rounds on a lightly floured surface.
Divide the filling among six 2-cup souffle dishes (leaving a bit of room unfilled at the top.)
Cover each dish with a round of dough.
Press the overhang to the side of the dish to adhere.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the top of each dough round with some of the egg glaze.
Cut 3 slits in each pie for steam to escape.
Bake the pies until the crust is golden brown and filling is heated through (about 45 minutes.)
Makes 6 Servings
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For the mixed vegetables, try to choose vegetables with roughly similar cooking times.
Or, if you do choose to use any longer-cooking vegetables such as squash, you may want to steam them along with the potatoes just to be sure that they will be fully cooked when the pot pies are done.
This is great recipe to make if you are cooking for both vegetarians and meat eaters.
For the meat eaters, add some cooked chicken or turkey to the souffle dishes before adding the vegetable stew.
Be sure to mark which pies are filled with meat before baking - I usually make a different style of slits in the pastry.