This original recipe from Vegetarian Times has become a Fall favorite. I like this cassoulet so much that I convinced my family to have it as the main course in our Thanksgiving meal one year. And the ingredients are EL CHEAPO. I got everything I needed, sans herbs and oil, for less than 10 bucks and the leftovers lasted many moons. I used to make this on the stove, but I recently bought a slow cooker and enjoyed the benefits of not having to slave over a hot pot for hours. In fact, I ran errands all day long and came home to this perfect, finished stew. Whether you make it on the stove or in the crockpot, this is a very delicious, hearty dish that will comfort and warm you on chilly October nights.
On a personal note, there are a few meals that I gravitate towards for those rare occasions when I have dinner ready with candles and a fancy setting for my sweetie when he comes home. This weekend I made this dish on my day off for that purpose. It’s that good.
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 small shallots, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
- 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- 3 15.5-oz. cans great Northern beans, preferably organic, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- Half a lemon (optional-really doesn’t need it unless you like your soups to have a background tang.)
- 2 bay leaves, snapped in half to release flavor
- 1 ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Minced fresh parsley for garnish (in the picture I obviously didn’t mince it – but I like fresh herbs to be chunky.)
Directions for Slow Cooker:
- Pour oil into slow cooker, and turn it on high. Add shallots and garlic. Cover, and cook to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. (You can hasten this step by browning the garlic in a pan, softening the shallots in the same pan, then transferring shallot/garlic to the slow cooker.)
- Add carrots, turnip, parsnip, beans and tomatoes. Stir in broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Add a little lemon juice, if you prefer a little zing in your cassoulet.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook until all vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 hours.
- Remove and discard bay leaves. Garnish with minced parsley. Add more lemon, if you like it that way.
STOVETOP METHOD: Heat oil in 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and carrots. Cover, and cook 5 minutes to soften. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fully cooked, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.