Vegetarian Cassoulet Beans
Springtime is the right time for vegetarian cassoulet beans. I finally got into the heralded and exclusive Rancho Gordo Bean Club and we’ve been eating our weight in beans to try and keep up! Included in the most recent delivery was a pound of cassoulet beans, which I’d never had before. And I was surprised by their appearance, tbh.
I guess I’d always pictured something small and elongated, like a cannellini bean, but these almost looked like dried lima beans. The skins are thinner than a lima, and taste is very mild. They would be delicious in a baked bean recipe or ranch-style beans, too.
And I am certainly taking liberties calling this a cassoulet at all, since a cassoulet is supposed to have a LOT of meat in it. Talking duck, pork, sausage, ham hocks, bacon, like, all of the meat plus beans. Clearly, this is not that. But I think it’s still pretty delicious, with or without the fake sausage on top.
I highly recommend you serve this with torn hunks of baguette to soak up the sauce, which becomes almost a tomato gravy as the beans cook and release their starch. If you have some leftover vegetarian cassoulet beans, you can turn them into pasta e fagioli by adding some more stock and a couple handfuls of tiny pasta. Simmer 15-20 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Add some shredded greens at the end for color (and vitamins, duh).Print
Vegetarian Cassoulet Beans
1/2 pound dried cassoulet beans
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus a little extra)
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced carrot
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme (2 sprigs fresh)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3–4 cups vegetable broth or water
Optional: 12 ounces plant-based sausages*
Soak the beans 6-12 hours (overnight) in water plus 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Instant Pot: set to sauté function and add oil. Once warm, add onions and carrots. Cook 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic. Grate the tomatoes into the pot, leaving most of the skin behind. Stir this up a bit until you can smell the garlic. Add the thyme, bay leaf, smoked paprika and drained beans. Stir it around to coat the beans. Add 3 cups of broth and 1 teaspoon salt. Turn off saute, put the lid on and set for beans (30 minutes at high pressure). Allow natural release.
Stove top: In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil. Once warm, add onions and carrots. Cook 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic. Grate the tomatoes into the pot, leaving most of the skin behind. Stir this up a bit until you can smell the garlic. Add the thyme, bay leaf, smoked paprika and drained beans. Stir it around to coat the beans. Add 4 cups of broth and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and increase heat to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce to simmer. Cook for about one hour until beans are tender. Check it between 30 and 45 minutes to stir and add (hot) water if the beans aren’t covered.
While the beans cook, peel the casing off the fake sausages and slice them 1/2″ thick. Crisp them up in a little more olive oil in a separate skillet.
Serve the beans in bowls, topped with several slices of sausage. Serve with crusty bread.
*I use Field roast apple and sage