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Crisp mornings and clear days are bringing the best of early Winter.
Fresh leafy greens, bountiful root vegetables and brassicas.
Crisp mornings and clear days are bringing the best of early Winter. Fresh leafy greens, bountiful root vegetables and brassicas.
Pumpkin and Parsnip Cassoulet

Pumpkin and Parsnip Cassoulet

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cloves
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
450g (llb) pumpkin (prepared weight), chopped into bite-sized pieces
450g (llb) small parsnips, sliced into rounds
250ml (9fl oz) white wine
few sprigs of thyme
4 tomatoes, chopped, or use a 400g can tomatoes
400g can haricot beans, rinsed and drained
300ml (l0fl oz) hot vegetable stock for the slow cooker (900ml /l½ pints for the traditional method)

FOR THE TOPPING
125g (41/2 oz) breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
30g (loz) Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper, add the garlic, cloves, carrots, celery, and bay leaf, and cook, stirring occasionally, on a very low heat for 8-10 minutes until it is all soft.

Stir through the pumpkin and parsnip and cook for a few minutes more, then pour in the wine. Increase the heat, stir, and let it bubble for a minute or two. Then add the thyme, tomatoes, beans, and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, season, cover with the lid, and put in the oven for 40 minutes.

Mix together the topping ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle it over the cassoulet and put back in the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for about 10 minutes until the topping is golden. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve with crusty bread.

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