Brothy Beans with Bacon

by Apr 2, 2023

A little bit of bacon goes a long way with this pot of beans. Keep them brothy or reduce to barely a glaze, either way they are fantastic with baguette croutons and pistou. This is French country cooking, but really it’s just everyday cooking, which I hope you will do, as it is so very rewarding. Bon appétit!

Brothy Beans with Bacon

3–4 servings; adapted from Ina Garten's "French Flageolet Beans with Bacon"


  • 2–4 strips bacon, diced Niman Ranch or Beeler's
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and mashed with a couple pinches of Kosher salt
  • 1 branch rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped with the garlic
  • 4 cups home cooked white beans Rancho Gordo Marcella or Cassoulet
  • 2 cups bean broth or water or some of each

Pistou: equal amounts mint and parsley with lemon juice, olive oil and salt (see notes)

Baguette croutons (see notes)


  1. Heat a large sauté pan and cook bacon over moderate heat until fat begins to render and then add onions. Cook until onions are softened and bacon is crisp, 5–10 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the garlic and rosemary in the last minute of cooking.

  2. Add beans, broth and/or water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. The liquid will reduce as much as you desire.

    Serve with a spoonful of pistou or a drizzle of olive oil, baguette croutons, and pass the flake salt and pepper grinder.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Get your beans cooked in advance and then this is an easy weeknight dinner. See my post for How to Cook Beans.
  • Variation: Add a sliced head of fennel with the onions.
  • Mint and parsley pistou: chop equal amount of mint and parsley leaves with a pinch of salt and a spritz of lemon juice. stir in olive oil to make a spoonable sauce.
  • Baguette croutons: Slice baguette ½-inch on the bias, set out in a single layer on a sheet pan, drizzle tops with olive oil, flip and moosh around to soak up excess olive oil from first pour and either that's enough or drizzle with a little more. Sprinkle with salt and bake 350° 10 minutes or so. Watch it because the croutons will continue to crisp as they cool, so don't bake them too hard.

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