Test Kitchen: Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits

Jay Patruno, Junior Dietetics Student, SAR ’18

This kale and white bean potpie with chive biscuits is the perfect cold weather comfort dish.  With the snowstorm heading our way in Boston, I figure there is no better time to share it than now!

This recipe was a crowd favorite with several of the regular Test Kitchen attendees saying this was their favorite recipe so far this semester. Preparing this dish was really nostalgic for me because this recipe is similar to one my mother and I used to make back when I lived at home.

This recipe calls for onions.  Unfortunately nobody readily volunteered to chop them for fear of crying from the sulfur fumes.  We started sharing tips to avoid the tears.  See below for some tear-free tips (and the delicious recipe):

Tips for before chopping an onion

  1. Microwave the onion prior to chopping
  2. Refrigerate the onion prior to chopping 
  3. Rub lemon juice on the blade of your knife
  4. Cut out the onion’s bottom core
  5. Use sweet onions when possible such as Vidalia onions

Tips while chopping an onion

  1. Cut the onion under water or while running water over the onion
  2. Cut the onion with the root intact
  3. Run a fan nearby or cut the onion under a vent
  4. Use a very sharp knife
  5. Wear goggles
  6. Light a candle nearby

Sargent Choice Kale and White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits
Recipe from Eating Well
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:Kale Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, + 2 teaspoons, divided
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried
8 cups chopped kale, stems removed (1 small to medium bunch)
¼ cup white whole-wheat flour
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
½ cup cold buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or similar-size 2–quart baking dish) with cooking spray.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale; cook stirring often, until tender and wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Stir in broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in beans and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
  3. To prepare biscuits: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub butter into the dry ingredients.  Stir in chives.  Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.  Form the dough into 6 biscuits and place on top of the vegetable mixture.  Lightly brush with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.  Place the potpie on a baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are lightly browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.