Vegetable Pie with Sweet Potato ToppingVegetable Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

The Vegetarian Cook’s Bible is a great book. Back before I started cooking, I actually tried being vegetarian for a year; unfortunately, all that meant was I did not eat meat. I was not vegan and I ate cheese like there was no tomorrow. It didn’t help that at the time, I didn’t like many vegetables.

I’m not a vegetarian these days, but I have a great respect for vegetarians, especially vegans. I still will not eat veal, although I am told veal is not raised like it use to be but still … But I just love all foods too much to give up meat and seafood. So I will stay a carnivore for now.

Native people, the traditional ones anyway, make a habit of using the entire animal if it has been killed. They also make an offering before preparing it, to appease the spirit of the animal and to thank the animal for its offering of its body. I believe this to be proper and in my own way I do the same thing.

But in the case of this Vegetable Pie with Sweet Potato Topping, there is no meat involved. It’s vegetarian. Delicious and for meat lovers, it tastes like it has meat. Very substantial.

The roasted vegetables You start out with roasted vegetables

The sweet potato toppingThe sweet potato topping

Belle’s note: This vegetable pie is definitely substantial. It smells great while cooking, and delivers a flavor that’s sweet and very different from a meat pie. The shiitake mushrooms are a great addition, giving a different texture that’s a nice contrast to the softness of the rest of the pie.

The following recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Cook’s Bible.

Vegetable Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

1 cup boiling water
8 larger dried shiitake mushrooms
3 cups rutabaga, cut into 1″ pieces
3 carrots cut into 1″ pieces
2 parsnips, cut into 1″ pieces
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
2 onions, cut into eighths
6 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 leek, washed and cut into 1″ pieces
2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
2 tbsp thyme leaves, picked
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup tomato juice, divided
1/2 cup dry red wine

Topping
2 – 19 fl oz cans cut sweet potatoes (get organic if you can)
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup yogurt
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms and let sit 20-30 minutes.
  2. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid.
  3. Squeeze dry the mushrooms, remove stems and roughly chop mushrooms
    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Combine rutabaga, carrots and parsnips with 2 tbsp oil (toss to coat) and bake in a baking dish for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven. Add the potatoes, onions, garlic, leek, sage, thyme and 2 tbsp oil, toss to combine.
  6. Return to oven and roast for another 45 minutes
  7. Reduce oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Prepare topping by heating sweet potatoes, add butter, yogurt, salt and nutmeg. Pureé with immersion blender until smooth.
  9. Add mushrooms, broccoli and peas to vegetables. Stir stir and mix.
  10. In a small sauce pan, mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup tomato juice. Heat over medium heat and whisk.
  11. Whisk in an additional 3/4 cup tomato juice, the red wine and the reserved mushroom juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 6-8 minutes until liquid has thickened.
  12. Pour sauce over vegetables.
  13. Ladle Sweet potato topping over vegetables and smooth over.
  14. Bake for 50 minutes, until vegetable mixture is bubbling under topping. Llet stand 5 minutes before serving
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