I haven’t always been a lacto-ovo vegetarian. There were many meat-based frozen food dishes that my mom popped in the oven when I was a kid and one of them was Swanson’s frozen chicken potpie. Dad and my brother, John, liked the beef and mom liked the turkey. I had the chicken.
One night, many years after leaving home and craving comfort food, I looked in all of our cookbooks to find a good vegetarian recipe for chickenless pot pie. Nothing was found. Necessity being the mother of invention I created the vegan recipe below. Mom would have enjoyed this recipe but she worked all day in a job that didn’t allow her to sit down. The last thing she wanted to do after work was stand in the kitchen making dinner for us. So when she got home from work she would turn the oven to 425, pick Swanson’s pies from the freezer, sit down, put her feet up and wait for the oven to ding. I say, “good on ya mom”.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion (chopped fine)
2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
3 carrots (scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 can whole new potatoes (drain liquid – cut into ½ inch cubes)
1 Granny Smith apple (cored and cut into ½ inch pieces)
2 cups water
2½ teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
¼ teaspoon dill
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat the oil in a pot over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more. Stir in the flour and tarragon cooking for another couple of minutes.
Add the carrots, potatoes, apple, water and bouillon stirring until the bouillon is completely incorporated. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add the peas, dill and tomatoes (including liquid). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Spoon the hot vegetable mixture into a deep baking dish. I use a CorningWare 9-inch stoneware dish. Cover pie with puff pastry and score top of pastry with diagonal lines 2-inches apart. Bake uncovered until puffy and golden brown, about 22-25 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.