Cassoule des Haricots


I met a little lady, like me, of a certain age at the Grand Frais the other day while searching fruitlessly for dried chilli peppers.  She was standing in front of some beautiful fresh, cranberry beans, feeling each bean in each pod before adding it to her bag.


I usually buy fresh beans at the market but these were truly gorgeous so, well trained by the French in market etiquette, I stepped behind her, centered my body over my feet and gazed serenely, though somewhat vacantly at some Italian beans on the side.  Waiting my turn.

She:  Am I in your way?

Me:  Not at all, I’ve got plenty of time.  I’m retired.

The lady went on to explain to me that the reason it was taking so long, was that one could be seriously ripped off buying fresh bean pods that weren’t absolutely full.  I told her that these beans looked better than the market beans and that she had a good chance of getting full pods.

She:  I rarely go to the Sens market, nor do I come to Grand Frais often.  The market always seem so full and busy that I feel uncomfortable.  In addition, I live all the way in Rosoy (4 miles away).

Me:  You might like the Pont sur Yonne market.  That’s spread out in the town center and not so congested as the covered markets.

She:  Oh no!  Pont sur Yonne (11 miles)!  That’s really far!

Her husband who was waiting patiently on the side, as was mine, entered the conversation with a deadpan expression but irrepressible twinkle in his eye.

He: That’s definitely a weekend trip.

Made my day 😀


I didn’t actually cook the beans in my small cassoule but I could have, just couldn’t be bothered 🙂  They were excellent says M. Parret  who knows excellence when he tastes it 😀


I love fresh beans!  I began with a handful of lardons and just let the spirit take me. Couldn’t go wrong 😉

Cassoule des Haricots

1/2 cup lardons or bacon, diced

2 knobs of butter

2 leeks, halved vertically and thinly sliced

2 small celery branches, thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh oregano leaves, chopped

2 cups diced tomatoes

2 vegetable bouillon cubes(Maggi)

1/2 tsp black pepper

Salt to taste

3 lbs unshelled fresh beans, shelled

Water to cover

Brown the lardons in a skillet, then remove and set aside.  Melt the butter in the skillet, add the leeks and celery and saute until soft.  Stir in the reserved lardons, oregano, tomatoes, bouillon cubes, pepper and salt.  Add the beans and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.


About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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33 Responses to Cassoule des Haricots

  1. How gorgeous, such clean flavours I can almost taste them

  2. MELewis says:

    Looks lovely! I always wondered what those beans were for… 😉 And how I miss Grand Frais – sadly, there are none in my area. Love the Sunday morning market but sometimes find it hard to make the time.

  3. Lerry says:

    looks yummy 🙂

  4. sallyb113 says:

    This looks great. Do you mind if I pass the recipe on to my friends at Charlton Community Gardens ( They have just started a recipe section for vegetables in season. Will obviously give credit to your website

  5. Mad Dog says:

    That looks delicious – I love beans and those are very hard to come by fresh here 🙂

  6. Tom Flint says:

    Those beans look fantastic and a great little story to go with

  7. jmcheney says:

    You inspired me in seasons past to go clear out of town 4 miles to a farm stand in search of fresh cranberry beans, which were as M. Parret proclaims “excellent.” And now you have reminded me again it’s time to crank up the old Ford & struggle out in quest of those excellent beans which must be out there now waiting for me to come eye them, if not pinch & feel them everyone, & buy a mess for a creative cassoule des haricots of my own. Merci Madame.

  8. Serena says:

    Just lovely!

  9. I know these beans as Borlotti beans….many years ago, when doing a shot for Habitat, we needed some of these which were, at that time of year, impossible to obtain. The art director hand painted the pods and beans of another variety to look like the missing Borlotti…they looked perfect:)

  10. Nadia says:

    I have been struggling to find dried chili peppers too. Just use the powder and flakes for now.
    Beans look delicious

  11. Ooh that looks good – well worth the …er….”trek”!!!

  12. Suzanne says:

    YUM! Looks great 🙂

  13. savannahmok says:

    Hello , Im a new blogger . I blog about food too . Feel free to visit my blog 🙂 It would mean so much to me . Thank u . Btw .. I love your blog work !

  14. redrockherault says:

    I’ll have to look out for these at our market, and I’ll be sure to check the pods :)!! Love your little Not Pottery cassole!!

  15. Starting with a handful of lardons you truly cannot go wrong 😁

  16. I picked all the overgrown beans in the garden yesterday – not quite cranberry beans, but I’m sure they’ll be nearly as delicious!! Will make your recipe tonight!

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