This hearty and finger-lickin’-good recipe offers several chances to decide just how “from scratch” you want your baking to be. The vegetable broth can be either homemade or store-bought, as can the French lentils. Even if you decide on making everything from scratch, the preparatory steps including cooking the potatoes, cooking the lentils, and making the broth, can be done well in advance. (See the sidebar of this Newsletter for Allison’s homemade broth recipe.) Once the preparatory steps are done, the rest of the recipe is fairly simple and comes together rather quickly.
3 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, diced, cooked and mashed
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons barley flour
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 cups cooked French lentils, drained well
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons tamari
1/2 cup frozen peas
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes with margarine, 1 teaspoon salt, and non-dairy milk. Set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and onions. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots and celery. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and stir until absorbed. Stir in marjoram, celery seed, thyme, paprika, remaining salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, and then stir in broth. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture comes to a slow boil. Stir in lentils, parsley, Worcestershire, tamari, and peas, then remove from heat.
3. Transfer mixture to a deep pie dish or a 9 x 13-inch casserole. Spread the reserved mashed potatoes on top of the vegetable mixture in the dish. Use the tips of a fork to rake across the top of the mashed potatoes, making a rough surface to facilitate a brown, crispy top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Serve hot.
I used russets potatoes, which weren’t quite as creamy as yellow one would have been, and I forgot to peel them, so you can see the skins. Also, I only had vanilla flavored milk, so I just used extra margarine. It worked, but I think the potatoes were a little stiffer and harder to spread without the liquid.
Voilà! This pie was so delicious it was gone in no time! If you have a big family or are feeding a crowd, I would definitely recommend a double batch!