For some reason, I associate this leek, cannellini bean and thyme casserole with French homecooking. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is the addition of butter or the use of good, simple ingredients. Whichever it is, this recipe delivers a tasty, flavoursome dish that I could imagine eating with some fresh crusty bread, whilst sitting outside on a warm day in the French countryside. The cannellini beans in this recipe give a wonderfully thick and creamy texture whilst the leek and thyme bring a nice depth of flavour. This recipe has been on the family menu since my daughter was young because the texture is appealing to little ones whilst the flavour is appealing to adult palates. The casserole is very easy to make and a wholesome source of protein and iron. The recipe serves 2 adults and 2 toddlers.
- Glug olive oil and knob of butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped finely
- 2 leeks, chopped finely
- 1 stick of celery, chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (I used lemon thyme) or alternatively used 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 can of cannellini beans
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 400ml low salt vegetable stock
- Melt the butter in a large pan. Add a glug of oil, the chopped onion, leeks and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, for around 5 minutes. The vegetables should be starting to soften.
- Add the garlic and thyme. Fry for a minute.
- Add the beans, stock, and bay leaf (if using). Simmer gently, with the lid on, for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The casserole is ready when the leeks are soft and the sauce looks thick and creamy. We serve this with rice or mashed potatoes.