Summer Vegetable Cassoulet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup dried white beans
3 ¾ cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
2 pieces leek (white part only), split lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
½ medium eggplant, diced
½ large zucchini, diced
1/3 pound wax beans, trimmed
1 ½ tomatoes, quartered, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 ¾ teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper
For the bread crumb topping:
1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon herbes de Provençe
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a deep-sided sauté pan or casserole, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the dried beans and 3 cups of the stock and increase the heat to medium high.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Add the leeks and carrots and simmer until beans are almost tender, about 40 minutes.
Add the remaining stock, the eggplant, zucchini, wax beans, tomatoes and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil again, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes, and remove from the heat.
Season the vegetable mixture with salt and pepper. The cassoulet should be a little soupy at this point, but the vegetables will continue to absorb the liquid.
Turn on the broiler.
Mix together the bread crumbs, butter, herbs, salt and pepper, and sprinkle on top of the cassoulet. Place the casserole under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until the bread crumb topping is golden brown.