To me, autumn is the most marvelous season for pies, especially this lentil pot pie. Vibrant with earthy colors, this pie offers a stunning cornucopia of umami slices, perfect for back-to-back classes or potlucks. Rich with legumes, this dish is hearty and filling! Every neighbor will dream of the herby aromas wafting out of your oven.
- ½ cup of lentils
- 1 onion (diced)
- 8 garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 carrots (diced)
- 4 celery (diced)
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mushroom powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vegan chicken-less seasoning powder (optional)
- A pinch of MSG (optional)
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 pie crusts
- Soak your dried lentils for at least two hours or until they are chonky and happy.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- In a large pot, sweat onions, garlic, carrots, celery and lentils with a neutral oil on low heat for five minutes or until onions are soft and glistening brown.
- Add peas and season with thyme, soy sauce, oregano, paprika, salt, vegan chicken-less seasoning powder, mushroom powder and MSG.
- Add water until the vegetables are completely submerged but you can still make out their shapes.
- Bring to a boil and let it simmer until the lentils, carrots and celery are tender — about 5-10 minutes. You can test the tenderness by piercing the veggies with a fork. If it goes through easily, it’s tender enough. Do not overboil the lentils or else they will become mushy and lose their shape, so check on them often.
- Meanwhile, line a pie pan with pie dough. Shape it to your liking. I crinkled the edges of mine with two fingers.
- When the veggies are cooked, take ¼ cup of the soup and pour it into a separate bowl along with the all-purpose flour.
- Mix with a whisk until the flour is completely dissolved, like a slurry. Stir the slurry mixture in the pot to thicken.
- Using a colander with tiny holes, drain the veggies and get rid of as much excess liquid as possible so it does not make the crust too wet. Put the veggies in the pie crust.
- Line the second pie crust on top and cut slits so the hot air can escape.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden and crispy.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- If you boil your water in a water kettle, the water will come to a boil faster.
- If you do not have pie crust, toss mashed potatoes over the veggies and bake it to make shepherd’s pie. Or eat it with rice.
The best part about this dish is that almost everything can be found at the Associated Students Food Bank. There is a lot of chopping to be done, so get a group of friends together, slap on my fall feasting playlist and enjoy!
A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the October 14, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.