This vegetarian pot pie makes no apologies for its lack of chicken. (Chicken who?) The recipe starts just like the original: Sauté onion, carrots, and celery. Add flour for thickness, then broth (in this case, a DIY bouillon-based one) and milk, which turn into a creamy, savory gravy. But then, where you’d normally add chicken, you add chickpeas—the little bean that could. A big spoonful of white miso adds depth (feel free to use your favorite type of miso, just adjust the amount to taste). While many pot pies are baked in ramekins, this one is assembled freestyle: Ladle the pot pie filling into a bowl, then top with a crispy, flaky square of puff pastry. Not only do I find this approach easier, but it’s better for leftovers: Refrigerate or freeze the pot pie filling, then warm up whenever, and top with whatever bready thing is around (if you’re out of puff pastry, a thick piece of toast is very good). And if you don’t have—or don’t want to get—the vegetable-based Better Than Bouillon, you can swap out the 1 1/2 cups water for 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth; just make sure it’s homemade or a brand you know and like, since store-bought vegetable broths vary a lot. —Emma Laperruque
sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
medium to large yellow onions, finely diced
carrots, peeled and finely diced
(about 6 stalks) celery, finely diced
kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 teaspoons
vegetable-based Better Than Bouillon
white miso paste
2 1/2 cups
whole milk, warm
freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
(15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
finely chopped parsley
In This Recipe
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment. Crack the egg into a small bowl, add 1 pinch salt, 1 teaspoon water, and whisk with a fork until smooth. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 10x10-inch square. Cut into 6 rectangles (a pizza wheel works well here). Set on the prepared sheet pan. Brush each piece with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
While the puff pastry is baking, start on the chickpea stew: Add the butter to a large, high-sided saucepan and set over medium heat to melt. When it’s foamy, add the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and stir. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple times. Remove the lid, add the garlic, and stir. Continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes.
Add the flour to the vegetable mixture and stir until it’s incorporated. Cook for about 2 minutes, to get rid of that raw flour taste. If you’re using the water, stir in the bouillon paste and miso paste until incorporated. Slowly add the seasoned water to the vegetables while constantly stirring. Now slowly add the milk, also while constantly stirring.
Let the mixture come to a simmer. While it does, add the black pepper, plus more salt to taste. After it comes to a simmer, let it cook for a few minutes to thicken, stirring slowly but constantly.
Add the peas, chickpeas, and parsley. Continue to cook until it’s as thick as you like. Season again with salt, pepper, and miso to taste.
Serve the chickpea stew in bowls, with a square of puff pastry on top.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.