Lentil, bean and pea cassoulet with a perfectly fried egg and harissa creme fraiche

Comforting, meaty (yet meatless!) hodge-podgey casseroles are my jam at the moment. For dinner with sausages (have now sampled Linda’s veggie version and can report that they’re pretty good) or like this at breakfast/brunch with a fried egg and some hash browns, ooh and buttered white bread to mop up the sauce… it’s delicious. Basically, this recipe goes a long way, so you can keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days and have an easy mid-week dinner repeat, take it to work or save it for Saturday morning.

veggie cassoulet, vegetarian stew, lentil and bean casserole, brunch ideas with beans, fried egg and lentils

You’ll need:

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 onion, sliced thinly

6 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 can green lentils

1 can peas

1/2 can kidney beans

1 pint stock (chicken does give it a more comforting, salty taste, but vegetable is great too)

1 small glass red wine

Eggs (1 per person is plenty if they’re large)

1 tsp harissa paste

1 tbsp creme fraiche

Optional: hash browns (we like 2-3 in this household)

Fry the onion on a low heat in a generous glug of olive oil with salt, pepper and paprika. You want it to cook but not brown. Then add the garlic for 5 minutes.

Pour in the lentils, peas and kidney beans, cook for 5 minutes and then add the wine for another 5.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

It’s done when the liquid has decreased and what’s left is quite thick and gloopy.

If you’re in the mood for brinner, or saving it for Saturday morning, you’ll just need to cook your hash browns as per the packet instructions, then fire up a frying pan with loads of olive oil, so that when it starts to spit, you can turn it down a smidge, crack in the egg, and the white will be submerged by oil. Just a few minutes is plenty if you like your yolks bright and orange and runny as God intended.

Serve the cassoulet on top of your perfectly cooked hash browns, and the egg on top of that. Mix together the harissa and creme fraiche and add to your liking. A drizzle of chilli oil, plenty of black pepper and a few basil leaves will really complete it.

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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