This is a great cool-weather recipe that can be made ahead and frozen. We’ve got a veggie option or you can go with the traditional chicken version.
2 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 large red potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 cup cooked corn
1 1/2 cooked diced chicken OR 1 1/2 cup (a 15 oz. can) garbanzo beans
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs. dried parsley
1 tbs. poultry seasoning (or 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage, 1 tsp. dried marjoram, 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary)
2 whole bay leaves
2 tbs. whole wheat flour
2 tbs. corn starch
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen green peas or 1 can green peas
Frozen pie crust – one roll-out package
In a large skillet, saute the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic, celery, carrots, and potatoes and continue to stir occasionally as you saute the mixture for about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a 8 quart pan and add 5 cups of the broth, corn, parsley, poultry seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove bay leaves. Stir corn starch and flour into the remaining cup of broth and gradually add it, stirring all the while, into the simmering mixture. Add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir while cooking for a few more minutes. Mixture should be like a thick soup now. Remove from the heat and stir in either the cooked chicken or the garbanzo beans along with the peas. Add the mixture to a large casserole dish – 2 quarts or larger (you may have some of your filling mixture left over). Drape a sheet of the pie crust over the top and put into a 350F oven for about 30 minutes or until pie crust is nicely browned. You can also divide this into individual oven-proof baking dishes (about 2 cup sized) for single-serving pies. If you want to freeze for later, don’t cook your pie. Wrap it well in aluminum before freezing.
A variation on this recipe will give you a chicken pot pie soup. When you thicken the mixture, leave out the cornstarch and use only the broth/flour mixture to thicken, so your resulting soup is creamy but not too thick. You can substitute egg noodles for the potatoes if you want.