Breton haricot beans

A recipe from France: The Cookbook

Preparation: 20 minutes plus soaking time

Cooking: 3 hours

Serves: 6 people


500 g (1lb 2oz) (2¾ cups) dried haricot (navy beans) or cannellini beans, soaked

1 bouquet garni

30 g (1¼oz) (2 heaping tablespoons) butter

200 g (7oz) onions, chopped

30 g (1¼oz) (¼ cup) flour

300 ml (½ pint) (1¼ cups) hot stock

60 g (2oz) (¼ cup) tomato coulis or passata

½ garlic clove, crushed

salt and pepper


Put the beans in a large pan, cover generously with water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat, add the bouquet garni and simmer gently for up to 3 hours, or until tender. While the beans are cooking, prepare the sauce.

Melt the butter in a medium pan and add the onions. Fry until golden, then sprinkle over the flour and cook for a few minutes to make a blond roux.

Gradually add the stock and tomato coulis or passata. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half.

When the beans are cooked, discard the bouquet garni, drain and force through a coarse sieve. Mix the sauce into the purée.

Simmer for a further 10 minutes.