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Mixed bean and tomato cassoulet

Mixed bean and tomato cassoulet

 

This is real winter comfort food - serve it with fresh crusty bread and a green salad.


Preparation time: 11/2 hours, plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: 11/2 hours
Serves 6

  • 400 g (14 oz) dried mixed beans

  • 1 red, 1 sweet and 1 large cooking onion, thickly sliced

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 4 large thyme sprigs

  • 400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes

  • About 350 ml (12 fl oz) vegetable stock

  • 280 g (10 oz) fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Soak the beans in a large bowl of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well in plenty of cold water.

  2. Bring the beans to the boil in a large pan of fresh water, then cover and simmer for 1 hour. Drain and leave until required. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.

  3. Cook the onions quickly in the oil in a flameproof casserole until just soft. Season well, then add the thyme. Pour the tomatoes over the onions, then season again.

  4. Tip the beans over the tomatoes, pressing them down, then season well. Pour in the stock to come just below the surface of the beans.

  5. Continue heating until the stock just comes to the boil, then cover the casserole and transfer to the oven for 1 hour.

  6. Remove the lid and make a thick layer of breadcrumbs over the beans. Raise the oven temperature to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 and cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, until the breadcrumbs are browned.

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