Monday, November 5, 2012

Meatless Monday: Minestrone Pot Pie with Parmesan Biscuit Topping

It’s Monday, and over the weekend I made a fabulous vegetarian meal. I want to share the recipe I made, but I cannot put the recipe instructions directly into this post. However, I can provide you with a link to it.

You must be wondering why I cannot divulge the recipe I made. The reason is that I pulled the recipe from the October 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living. I usually toss magazines when I am through with them, but this issue was all about pies for dinner, and this one recipe is so delicious, healthy, and filling that I have made it several times in the past year. There are other dinner pies that look great too. I have yet to try them, but I definitely plan to do so.

Here is the link to Martha’s Minestrone and Parmesan Biscuit Potpie.

Martha’s recipe is vegetarian, and our Meatless Monday goal is to cut out meat one day a week. But, if you prefer to make this recipe on another day of the week (wink, wink) you can include meat. Remember, no matter what day of the week, try to make vegetables the focus of your meal.

To include chicken in this meal, bake bone-in or boneless chicken breasts at 375ยบ- 400ยบ (depending on your oven) for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked through (no pink).  Dice or pull chicken and add to simmering soup. In Martha’s pot pie the kale and butternut squash really shine, and they are readily available, fresh, and local right now — let them prevail!

Below are two an alternate minestrone soup recipes from our cookbooks. Andrea Chesman’s from Recipes from the Root Cellar is vegetarian soup, while Jess Thomson’s minestrone from Dishing Up® Washington includes sausage.

Fall Sausage Minestrone
with Mushrooms and Squash
Use whatever mushrooms look best at your market for this warming stew. For a bit of heat, substitute a spicy Italian sausage for the pork sausage.

Photograph © by Lara Ferroni.
Excerpted from Dishing Up® Washington by Jess Thomson

1½ pounds pork sausage
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
10 stalks celery, chopped
6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 quarts chicken broth
1 large delicata squash, halved, seeded, and chopped
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups dried white beans, cooked
¾ pound wild mushrooms, (such as chanterelles or porcini), chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it into the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage and most of the fat to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside. 
  2. Add the oil to the pot, then the onions, and cook, stirring once or twice, until the onions soften, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, and oregano; salt and pepper to taste; and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 15 minutes. Stir the sausage back in; then add the broth, squash, beans, and mushrooms; and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook until the squash is completely tender, about 10 minutes longer. 
  4. Add the parsley and season the soup with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve piping hot with big chunks of bread for mopping up the juices.
Excerpted from Dishing Up® Washington © 2012 by Storey Publishing, LLC.
Dishing Up® Washington written by Jess Thomson

Winter Minestrone
I know it is a clichรฉ, but this soup really can be made in less than an hour and tastes like it simmered all day. Minestrone lends itself to variations, so improvise with the ingredients that you have on hand. If you were wise enough to freeze pesto at the end of the summer, you can turn this soup into Minestrone alla Genovese by stirring about ¼ cup of pesto into the pot just before serving.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or ­turkey broth
1 quart crushed tomatoes or tomato purรฉe, or 1 (28-ounce) can
3 cups thinly sliced green or savoy cabbage, or kale* (remove and discard tough stems from kale)
1½ cups cooked white beans (cannellini, navy, pea), or 1 (15-ounce) can, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup small pasta** (rings, ditalini, alphabets, bowties)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery root, carrot, and garlic, and sautรฉ until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cabbage, beans, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Return the soup to a boil. Add the pasta** and boil gently until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
* Kale is preferred over cabbage if making Minestrone Parmesan Biscuit Pot Pie.
** Do not add pasta if using this recipe for Minestrone Parmesan Biscuit Pot Pie. Skip step 2, but season with salt and pepper at the end of step 1.

Kitchen Note: Like all soups that contain pasta, this will thicken on standing. Thin with additional broth or water if needed.

Adapted from Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman © 2010
All rights reserved


Meatless Monday posts are my effort to pitch the idea of eating meatless one day or one meal a week — for health, for the well-being of animals, and for the environment. I encourage you to give it a try. I also suggest trying variations of these recipes with the produce you have on hand. Additionally, if you are not yet ready to go a full day meat-free, try using these veggie-packed recipes as the focus of your meal.

Our Meatless Monday Recipe Archives:
Vegetarian Lasagna
Braised Chard Pizza and Farmhouse Salad
Mini Frittatas and Shaved Zucchini Salad
Beet Soup, Roasted Plum Quesadillas, and Peach Kuchen
Garden Vegetable Pasta and Grilled Eggplant-Tomato-Basil-Mozzarella Stacks
Indian Spiced Eggplant and Pad Thai
Corn Risotto and Corn Sauce
Spicy Tomato Basil Soup
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Winter Vegetables

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