Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet

This delicious recipe brings together so many of my favourite things. Sticky roasted tomatoes, the soothing creaminess of coconut milk and sweet little white beans, topped with a crust of sourdough bread. Don’t be put off by the coconut milk – it adds a gentle creamy note and brings everything together (the rest can be frozen and used in a curry another day).

If fresh tomatoes are not at their best, a second tin of chopped tomatoes will do just fine. In the winter I swap the basil for some thyme too. I like to cook my own beans, but I sometimes use a decent jar of Spanish cooked beans – tinned will work too, but I find the jarred ones are cooked with more care.

I love sourdough bread. If you haven’t tried it before, search it out. It’s made from a natural fermented starter dough. When I worked as a baker I loved that someone topped it up every couple of days and kept it alive. Because of the starter it’s actually easier for our bodies to digest. So everyone’s a winner.


1 leek, washed, trimmed and roughly sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
a 1cm thick piece of fresh ginger, the size of a 50p piece, peeled and roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 × 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 × 400g jar haricot beans, drained, or 1 × 400g tin, drained
500g vine or cherry tomatoes, halved
a bunch of fresh basil
4 slices of sourdough bread

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

First heat an ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add a slosh of olive oil. Throw in the leeks, garlic, chilli and ginger and a pinch of salt and some pepper, then turn the heat down and cook for 10 minutes, until the leeks are soft and sweet. Next, add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and beans and simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat. Check the seasoning, and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.

Scatter over the fresh tomatoes, followed by the basil, then tear the slices of bread into chunks and push them into the gaps between the tomatoes. You are looking for a covering of tomatoes and chunks of bread.

Drizzle the lot with olive oil and pop it into the oven for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have shrunk and sweetened and the bread is crisp and golden. Allow to sit for a few minutes before piling on to plates with lemony green salad.

Image: Brian W Ferry

Posted: 12.01.15 10 Comments


Posted by Sarah Stevens at 3:17 on the 27.01.15

Delicious! I have the recipe book and made this recipe last week! Ate far too much!

Posted by Sue at 9:21 on the 20.07.15

This was the first thing I made from your book Anna. It did not disappoint. I served it with lemony greens as you suggested for a Sunday family lunch. It was absolutely delicious. The success of this recipe got me even more excited to try more of the recipes and the Restorative Coconut Broth was on the dinner table.

Posted by Anna at 9:26 on the 20.07.15

So lovely to hear Sue. Glad you enjoyed. AJ x

Posted by Helen at 4:28 on the 30.08.15

This recipe is perfect, its simple, full of flavour and totally adaptable to what’s in the cupboard. I have used butterbeans, oat cream and [parsley instead of coconut milk and basil and its still delicious. My 11 month old girls scoffed it too, definitely putting your book on my wish list!

Posted by Vanisha at 3:52 on the 24.09.15

This was the first recipe I made from you book, I used coconut milk the type in a can instead of the carton in error so it was overly coconuty but still delicious! Really excited about working my way through the rest of the book, I’ll be making the burger today!

Posted by Rachel at 12:00 on the 30.11.16

This is my favorite meal! It’s my go-to when entertaining people for a rustic, comfort-food dinner. My partner, who is a big meat-lover, gets excited whenever I make it. Thank you!!!

Posted by Anna at 10:01 on the 01.12.16

So pleased you guys like it Rachel, thank you for such a lovely comment. AJ x

Posted by Jacqueline Hajisinou at 11:03 on the 23.01.17

Hi just wondering when you say coconut milk do you mean the one in cartons that you eat with cereal or the coconut milk in a can( thick stuff)? Thanks J

Posted by Anna at 9:47 on the 30.01.17

Hello Jacqueline, I mean the coconut milk from a can for this recipe. Hope you enjoy. AJ x

Posted by Christie at 5:38 on the 01.04.17

Hi Anna

I’m a vegetarian trying to go vegan and often struggle with cooking tasty, filling vegan food. This recipe has opened doors for me, it’s delicious and so quick and simple. Look forward to trying out some more!

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