Fennel and borlotti bean cassoulet

1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb, fronds removed and cut into 6-8 wedges
  • 150g of borlotti beans, dried, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 250ml of white wine
  • 1l stock, vegetable or chicken
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tsp sea salt


Heat the olive oil in a large, wide pan and add the fennel seeds and coriander seeds. Let them sizzle for a few seconds, then add the shallot, leek, garlic and fennel wedges with a teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 8 minutes, so the vegetables soften and start to caramelise a little
Drain the soaked beans and add them, followed by the white wine. Let the wine reduce by half then add the stock and tarragon sprigs and turn down the heat to a slow simmer
Simmer the cassoulet, covered, for 45–60 minutes or until the beans are cooked through
Taste and season with salt and lemon zest
Serve the cassoulet with crusty bread slathered with salted butter