White Bean Cassoulet

As you may remember from my Broa Bread post, I recently made the "Slow and Easy White Bean Cassoulet" from the Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook. This book has quickly become my go-to guide for crock pot inspiration, and the White Bean Cassoulet is now one of my favorite recipes. And, of course, it also goes perfectly with Broa Bread.

To make this easy and delicious recipe, start by sauteing one large yellow onion along with 2 cloves of minced garlic and some halved baby carrots in a skillet with some olive oil over medium heat. (The recipe calls for 8 ounces of baby carrots, but I think I used more--I just kept putting in carrots until it felt right.) Cook everything in the pan for at least five minutes or until softened.

Transfer this mixture to your slow cooker and add:
  • 2 cans of white beans
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • and some salt and pepper
Cook on low for 8 hours.

The recipe suggested adding toasted breadcrumbs and an optional tempeh and shallot confit, but I wanted to keep everything simple so the only thing I did differently was I doubled the recipe so I would be sure and have lots of leftovers, and then I added a bag of frozen artichoke hearts that I bought from Trader Joes. (I thawed them on the counter in a bowl first and then added them to the cassoulet during the last 1/2 hour of cooking).

This recipe is definitely a keeper. For something so easy and so cheap, it is amazing how delicious it tastes. Sometimes I think back to my days as a poor college student and I remember some of the crap boring food I ate because I was broke and in a hurry, and I wish the me "now" could travel back in time to the me "then," and share with myself a recipe like this one. But since I don't have a magic time machine, I guess I will just have to be satisfied by appreciating that the me "now" is a much better and more resourceful cook than the me "then." And I can always hope that maybe, just maybe, some other college kid in the "now" will read this and be saved from a dinner of bland beans or boring pasta!