A comfort food classic is reimagined into an umami drenched vegan pot pie worthy of your childhood memories. Its rich, complex flavors and velvety broth compliment earthy beans and winter root vegetables, elevating this plant-based recipe to restaurant-worthy status.
Plant Based Comfort Food That Doesn't Sacrifice Flavor
Watery, bland veggie stock from the grocery store is probably the biggest thing wrong with vegan cooking. When you're really craving that wintery classic you want the rich umami bomb that is typically associated with roasted meats and bone broths. You can get that same satisfying depth of flavor though by roasting umami filled vegetables before adding them to the bean broth. The additional step of roasting eggplant, onion and garlic delivers rich, complex flavors that rival any bone broth you can imagine.
Kombu, The Secret Weapon of Chefs
The natural glutamates in kombu act like mother nature's msg to deliver tons of flavor and umami to any dish without imparting a seaweed flavor. Kombu can be used in all types of dishes, from soups and stews to stocks, sauces, grains and legumes. It adds a deep savory flavor that enhances the taste of any dish - even those with subtle flavors. Kombu is also rich in minerals and vitamins like iodine, magnesium, iron and calcium which makes it a healthy addition to any meal. Plus, it helps retain moisture in food and aids digestion.
*Makes 4 pot pies
- 1 eggplant, split down the middle
- 1 large onion, cut lengthwise
- 1 head of garlic, cut along the top
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 4" strip kombu
- 1.5 cups of a dried beans. Choose a creamy "soup bean" like Ojo de Cabra, Mayflower, Turkey Craw or Good Mother Stallard (*if not using a pressure cooker, soak the beans for 8-24 hours)
- 3 carrots diced
- 2 cup2 shiitake or brown crimini mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried
- 4 cups mushroom broth (or water)
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon vegan worchestershire
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon toasted onion powder
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 1 sheet of vegan puff pastry (Dufourmakes our favorite)
- optional - aqua faba or one egg for egg wash
- Coat the egglplant, garlic and onion with olive oil and place face down on a parchment lined baking sheet roast at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours until very caramelized and browned.
- In a pressure cooker or a thick, heavy pot add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute the onion until soft. Add the water or stock, diced onion, kombu, carrots, mushrooms, thyme, and beans. Whisk the white miso with some of the broth until it is dissolved and add to the pot. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulbs into the pot, add the roasted eggplant and onion on top but submerged into the broth. Keeping them on top makes it easier to pull out the skins after they've done their job with the broth.
- Cook on high for 35 minutes in a pressure cooker and then let rest for at least 10 minutes before releasing pressure. OR Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 1-2 hours until beans are the desired texture. You may need to add stock or water as it cooks.
- When the beans are creamy turn the mixture up to boil again, or put your pressure cooker on Saute on high.
- Take out the eggplant skin and roasted onion halves, squeezing them against the sides to capture the juice. Add the garlic powder and toasted onion powder, worchestershire and white wine. It's very important that the beans be completely soft and creamy before you add the wine. When you add acid to beans they will seize up and won't soften further. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.
- Using a ladle, remove one half cup of the bean broth and put in a small bowl. Whisk in the flour until there are no lumps. Add the mixture back to the pot and stir in. Boil until the stock has reduced to a thick gravy.
- Roll the puff pastry to 1/4" thickness on a floured surface and cut into 4 equal squares.
- Ladle the bean mixture into 4 oven safe bowls or ramekins and drape a square of puff pastry over each bowl. The pastry will shrink! Whisk one egg with a teaspoon of water and brush on top of the pastry then sprinkle with additional thyme leaves and a bit of flake sea salt. A vegan alternative for the egg wash is aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas or reduced cooking liquid from cooking chickpeas.
- Place the bowls on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.