Crockpot Chickpea Pie
Right on par with chicken pot pie, this upside down pot pie made from chickpeas is a sure crowd pleasure. Because it's St. Patrick's Day, I was craving some warm comfort food that I could leave in the crockpot all day, and this recipe did the trick, filling the house with its delicious comforting aroma. Since I used canned chickpeas, it did not take as long to cook as it would with dried beans (about 3-4 hours on high). Also, I made a quick homemade vegetarian gravy using vegetable broth, flour, and butter (the butter can easily be subbed for your favorite vegan spread if vegan). Do NOT add salt to the recipe if you're using Better than Bouillon (trust me), but you'll want to add a dash of salt if you use low sodium vegetable broth.
Finally, I made a classic white bread recipe from Red Star Yeast (recipe here), but you can use any biscuit recipe you want or give it an Irish twist with Irish soda bread. Simply ladle the pot pie into bowls and top with your bread. Enjoy!
2, 15 oz. cans chickpeas
3 cups of vegetable broth
1/4-1/3 cup flour
1 Tbs. butter (or vegan margarine if vegan)
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped white onion
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced into 1/2" pieces
2 carrot stalks, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
Dash of black pepper to taste
For the gravy: heat a small pot on medium to melt the butter. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux. Very slowly add the vegetable broth (1/2 cup at a time) while whisking continually. Bring to a gentle boil while a thickened gravy forms (you may need to add more flour), taking care not to burn. Add a generous dash of black pepper to the gravy and mix well. ***Note: I use Better than Bouillon as the base for my vegetable broth (requires 1 tsp. of concentrate per 1 cup water) since this seems to provide the most flavor, but you can use any vegetable broth you prefer. If using low sodium broth, you will need to add some extra salt to the gravy (try 1/4 tsp. to start). Once thickened to your desired consistency, remove from the heat and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Note: you can also make vegetarian gravy from scratch using fresh vegetables, but for time's sake I used vegetable broth.
Add the chickpeas, fennel, carrots, celery, onion, gravy, and bay leaves, plus 1/2 cup of water to your crockpot. Add a dash of black pepper to season. Mix well.
Cover and cook on on high 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding a little more salt or pepper, depending on your preferences.
Serve in bowls with your favorite biscuit or warm crusty bread on top.