Saturday, March 2, 2013

Minestrone Pot Pie with Whole Wheat Parmesan Biscuits

I am pretty excited to share this recipe with you, because I absolutely loved it.  It's filling, flavorful, full of vegetables, covered in biscuits, and even has some bacon in it for my family of carnivores :)  Minestrone pot pie with whole wheat parmesan biscuits: can you even imagine anything sounding better?  Neither can I.

The recipe starts off with cooking some bacon, and then using the fat to saute the onions and leeks.  You have to know when recipes start out like that,that it's going to be good!  Added to the pan are mushrooms, garlic, spinach, kale, butternut squash, cannellini beans, a can of whole tomatoes, and chicken stock.  Add some salt, pepper, and grated parmesan, and you've got your minestrone.  There is no other spice in the soup part, and yet my mom kept asking what the flavor was when she ate it because it is just so flavorful!  The answer is that it's just a lot of great vegetables sauteed and simmered together.  You've never tasted such flavorful veggies, I swear.

Added on top are parmesan biscuits (hence the pot pie name).  I did end up using more whole wheat flour than the recipe called for because the dough was insanely sticky.  And I made 12 biscuits instead of 8; I thought it would be better to make more, smaller servings, and I am glad that I did.  It's filling enough!

The whole thing is baked, casserole-style, and it really does thicken up so it is almost more like a casserole than the minestrone soup that the name suggests.  Even the staunch meat-eaters in this house were digging it (hey, there's a little bacon in there for them). ,And I was seriously loving it.  I ate it for dinner that night, and then happily brought it for lunch at least two more times this week.  It heated up well, and the bites of flavor-bursting vegetables with soft, flaky biscuits on top... oh man.  This meal is good. So good that you have to make it tonight.  No excuses on this one.  It has meat, it's full of healthy vegetables, it has biscuits on top, and it is casserole-ish for those weirdos who claim that soup isn't a main dish.  Make this ASAP.


minestrone pot pie with whole wheat parmesan biscuits

from , adapted from Martha Stewart

minestrone pot pie
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 cleaned and trimmed leek, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped baby bella mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3 cups raw spinach leaves
3 cups torn kale leaves
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) peeled whole tomatoes (I think if I make it again, I will use chopped tomatoes)
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup parmesan cheese + 1 parmesan cheese rind

whole wheat parm biscuits
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream + 2 tablespoons (and more for brushing)

1) Heat a large pot over medium heat and add chopped bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Add onions and leeks to the pan with a sprinkle of salt, cooking for 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach, kale, squash, tomatoes, beans, stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook f0r 20 minutes, covered. While soup is cooking, make biscuits below and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2) After 20 minutes, stir parmesan and bacon into soup and transfer to a 9x11" baking dish. Top with biscuits, then brush each biscuit with cream. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

To make biscuits: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter cubes, and using your fingers, a fork or a pastry blender, mix until coarse little crumbles remain. Make a well in the middle of the flour, then add cream and cheese. Stir until a sticky dough forms, then make 8 small rounds of dough (or drop in 12 dollops of dough like I did!).

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