Cassoulet is traditionally a stew made with Navy beans and a whole lot of meat! My vegetarian version has lost none of the rich flavour, but has loads more nutritional value. It does require a bit of time to prepare, but when your home is filled with the aroma of this hearty, comforting dish, you won't regret it. Head over to your farmer's market to pick up fresh sweet potatoes, butternut squash and the end of season tomatoes. This is one of those meals that is so rich and bursting with flavour that you won't believe it's actually healthy for you! If you really need to save time, you could skip the first two steps and use 4 cans of cooked Navy beans, but be sure to rinse them well before adding them to the pot.
1 ½ cups dried Navy beans
5 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
2 whole cloves garlic
1 onion, cut in half
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
2 ears organic corn, kernels removed
1 cup oven roasted tomatoes, chopped ***
1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp basil, thinly sliced
sea salt and pepper to taste
Begin by roasting the tomatoes while the beans are cooking. Cut into quarters and lay out on a sheet pan. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then drizzle a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over them. Bake at 300 for about 2 hours until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Soak the Navy beans overnight in water. Drain, rinse and put back in the pot with fresh water, bay leaves, rosemary, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 onion.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 2 hours until tender. While the beans are cooking, skim the scum that comes to the top and add fresh water as necessary.
When beans are finished cooking, drain, remove the herbs and vegetables and rinse well. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium low and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the beans, sweet potatoes and squash and toss to combine.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
Add the roasted tomatoes, corn, herbs and salt and pepper.
Cook for 10 minutes more on low heat. Taste and adjust seasonings.
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