How To Soak and Cook Haricot Beans

Haricot beans are cute, small, pale green or white dried beans, very popular in Europe. Haricots include navy beans, cannellini beans and flageolet beans. They are all favourites of mine in a variety of recipes.

Have you ever wondered how to soak and cook haricot beans yourself? It’s really easy, and they taste much better than tinned (canned) commercial beans which have been cooked at high temperature in the tins (cans). Home cooked beans are also much more economical, which is a delight for your food budget.

This amount is perfect for your Thermomix and for my Boston Baked Beans recipe. Depending on the particular batch of dried haricot beans you have and how old they are, the amount of cooked beans produced can vary from 530-680 g – that’s what I have experienced so far!

I will occasionally soak and cook haricot beans just to have them on hand in my fridge or freezer for making dips, pâtés, casseroles, cassoulet, soups or stews. I also keep the bean cooking liquid to use as part of the liquid in some of these recipes.

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM6, TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 5 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME 12 ½ HOURS

MAKES 600 g COOKED BEANS

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Ingredients

  • 300 g dried haricot (navy, cannellini, flageolet) beans – see 2nd tip
  • 25 g lemon juice or whey
  • 2000 g filtered water
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • dried seaweed, approx. 3×5 cm or 1 Tbsp flakes, optional – see 3rd tip
  • ½ tsp olive oil

Method

  1. Place a large bowl on TM lid and weigh in dried haricot beans, lemon juice, and 1000 g of the filtered water, cover bowl with a plate and set aside to soak in a warm place for 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Place TM simmering basket in the sink and pour soaked beans through it to discard soaking water. Leave beans in basket, rinse under cold running water and drain again.
  3. Transfer beans to TM bowl, add remaining 1000 g filtered water, garlic, dried seaweed and olive oil, then cook 30 min/100°C/reverse/speed spoon or longer until almost tender but still with a bit of firmness in the middle when you bite one (they will be cooked further in the Boston Baked Beans recipe) – see 1st tip for softer beans.
  4. Place TM simmering basket in a large bowl and pour in cooked beans and cooking liquid to reserve bean liquid to use as stock or in other recipes. Use beans and bean liquid straight away (you will need both for Boston Baked Beans), or place beans in a container and chill in fridge up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months, and place hot bean liquid into a sterilised glass jar and seal, allow to cool to room temperature then chill for up to 2 weeks, or freeze in a freezer safe container.

Janie’s Tips

  1. Cook haricot beans longer in step 3 until completely tender if you would like to use them in dips or pâtés. Cannellini beans may need more cooking time as they are the biggest of the haricot beans.
  2. This recipe is only for haricot (navy, cannellini, flageolet) beans. Other beans may need different Thermomix preparations, for example, see my recipe book Fast and Easy Indian Cooking for an excellent TM method to cook chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
  3. Using dried seaweed in this recipe can help reduce the gas-producing effect which affects some people when they eat cooked beans. I have seen kombu seaweed recommended, although from personal experience, I tend to use whatever dried seaweed (not roasted) I happen to have on hand, and have found they all seem to help make cooked beans more digestible.
  4. You may notice there is no salt used here – it would make the beans tough and unable to cook properly during this preparation stage.
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