October 08, 2022


Spoiler: HOLY COW this was so good!

I resisted making this recipe for a long time, even though I'd printed it out and flagged it with a Post-It. I wasn't ready to buy a bag of soy curls when I wasn't sure if they would just go to waste. Soy curls are basically the same thing as textured vegetable protein (TVP), but they are chunkier pieces instead of crumbles.

Here is a comparison:

What the heck is TVP? It's just made of soy flour (after the fat is removed from soybeans), and then somehow they are shaped into these airy crumbles or, which this recipe calls for, curls (or chunks). If it sounds really weird, but you're about my age, you may have even eaten it before! I learned this only as an adult, but I used to love those rectangular cafeteria pizzas--they came in plain cheese or with "meat".

The meat, I always assumed, was very finely ground beef. It was always under the cheese. Sneaky! It was actually textured vegetable protein. When I learned that fun fact, I bought some of the crumbles to try at home (long before I became vegan) and they were exactly as I remembered. There is something nostalgic about them.

Anyway, I finally decided to buy a bag of the soy curls. (And naturally, when I was going to link to the ones I bought, they are no longer available on Amazon. They are the Anthony's brand. But there are a lot of different brands on Amazon.)

After they arrived, I still resisted making this recipe because it involved so many steps. It calls for homemade cream of "chicken" cream soup (like the condensed cream of chicken soup you buy in a can). That requires cooking some ingredients together and then blending them into a very creamy soup. 

The recipe also calls for vegetable bouillon powder, and naturally, there is a link to that recipe as well. I've used the bouillon powder before in other recipes, and I have to say, it's REALLY good. Thankfully, I already had a batch of that in the pantry.

Once you have the cream of "chicken" soup and the bouillon powder, you can move on to the pot pie recipe.

Well, I'm a very-little-prep-and-only-one-pot kind of girl. But I bought the soy curls and the weather today (cool, crisp air, a little breezy) made me think that today was a good day for a pot pie casserole. The recipe can be found on Plant Power Couple (I'll link to it again at the end of the post).

I gathered the ingredients for the cream of "chicken" soup and for the pot pie...

Water, red lentils, cashews, vegetable bouillon powder, puff pastry, potatoes, frozen mixed vegetables, soy curls, salt, pepper, and onion powder.

The vegetable bouillon powder can be found on the same site here. Even if you have no interest in making this pot pie, or even if you aren't vegan or vegetarian, this is definitely worth making. Because the cream of "chicken" soup that I'm about to describe calls for it. And THAT is something that I could eat from a bowl and lick clean. It made the house smell amazing, and the boys came into the kitchen to ask what I was making. I hadn't even gotten to the pot pie yet!

Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, you have got to try this alternative to condensed cream of chicken soup. (Recipe here.) Absolutely worth the hassle. And it literally tastes amazing on its own. To make it, you simply combine the water, red lentils, cashews, veggie bouillon powder, and sea salt in a pot. Then you bring it to a boil on the stove, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Then you pour it into the blender and blend until smooth. This is the point when the kids came to the kitchen, asking what smells so good. I took one taste, and almost just called off the whole pot pie. I was ready to eat the entire batch of this!

You're supposed to refrigerate it so that it thickens up, but I was planning to make the pot pie filling right away and let it rest for a little while before pouring it into the crust to bake. (Just trying to time dinner.)

Finally... ready to make the pot pie. I took the pastry out of the freezer to thaw when I started making the soup. I'd never used puff pastry before, but I was familiar with what it is. Most store bought brands are vegan (using oil instead of butter), but if you're looking for a vegan one, just check the ingredients. This Pepperidge Farm brand is vegan.

The recipe calls for "two large potatoes, peeled and small diced"--since 'large' and 'small' are all relative, I just guessed. I used Yukon Gold potatoes, because that's our favorite and I always have some on hand. I didn't peel them, because the skins are so thin, but I cut them into pieces about the size of frozen hash brown potatoes. (In retrospect, I'd cut them a little larger next time-like the size of dice.)

This recipe was specific about the amount of water you use to boil the potatoes, which I thought was odd, but it doesn't say to drain the potatoes before adding the other ingredients. So I hoped that was correct!

Once the potatoes have simmered, you add the frozen veggies, the cream of "chicken" soup, the salt, pepper, onion powder, and soy curls. This is the reason I'm not a food blogger--I take photos of the "ugly" parts of cooking.

I have to say, I was very hesitant to add the full amount of salt (2 tsp); between that and the salt in the bouillon powder and the salt in the soup, I was thinking about how this was definitely going to bring my blood pressure out of the "low" range, haha.

It thickened up quite a bit after I turned off the heat.

I thought the pastry would be the size of a 9x13 pan, but it was probably 9x9 square. I didn't realize I had to roll it out. I hate rolling out any sort of dough because I have to clean the counter really well, and then just make a huge mess on it again. Then I realized how handy these silicone baking sheets are! They are finally getting some use.

I lifted it into a 9x13 casserole dish, poked a million holes with a fork, and then baked for 15 minutes (just the bottom crust).

Then I poured the filling on top. I was going to take a picture but the lighting was way too dark, so I picked up the dish to move to the island--and totally forgot I'd just pulled it out of the oven. I'm pretty sure I no longer have fingerprints on my thumbs.

Finally, I topped it with the second layer of pastry and cut some slits in the center for steam to escape. 

The recipe said to bake for another 20 minutes, but I took it out after 35--it still looked raw in the center after 20 minutes.

By this point, the whole house smelled amazing--I couldn't wait to eat. HO-LY MOTHER. It was delicious! I was bummed the kids weren't here to try it and tell us what they thought, but hopefully they'll try the leftovers. I am thinking that the puff pastry won't do so well when reheating, which is a bummer. Next time, I'll probably halve the recipe unless the kids will want to eat it too.

Overall, this recipe was definitely a winner for both Jerry and me. And it's kind of a three-in-one (the bouillon powder, the cream of 'chicken' soup, and the pot pie). All three of the recipes are amazing!

The recipe for the Pot Pie can be found on Plant Power Couple. (That post links to the bouillon and soup recipes as well)


  1. Sounds delicious, but that's a lot of steps and I'm lazy. Still, it sounds like it was worth the effort.

  2. I found that cream of chicken recipe last year to make green bean casserole because I ain't ever gonna fancy that up and I could NOT believe how amazing it tasted. That pot pie looks divine! I'll definitely have to give that one a go.


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