In a small skillet on high heat, cook lemon halves flesh side down until lightly charred. This should take 2-3 minutes. Make sure there is plenty of color and don’t worry if they appear slightly burnt.
In a large dutch oven add beans, onion, shallots, garlic, and carrots. Cover with cold water till it reaches about 3 inches higher than the beans. Add thyme, coriander, fennel seeds, chilis, peppercorns, lemons, olive oil, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the beans are tender, and the broth is both flavorful and reduced. About 2 hours. Check beans frequently and taste for seasoning. Once done, add apple cider vinegar and serve.
For roasted bread:
Preheat oven to 325F.
While the beans are stewing, roast your bread. Take your sourdough and tear into rough, irregular squares. Don’t worry if they vary slightly in size. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, but not burnt. Set aside and let cool.
As Audrey of Pardon Your French writes, traditional French Pistou Sauce should be made in a large Mortar. She states: “French purists will tell you that there is only one way to make Pistou—by hand. The ingredients are pureed in the mortar with a pestle until creamy.” But for ease and simplicity, she notes that using a blender is now common practice which is what I did for this recipe.
Either chop by hand or use a small blender/food processor until the basil and parsley are incredibly fine. Place in a medium mixing bowl with garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Check for seasoning, and if too thick/thin you can adjust the oil amount. This should be very saucy.
To serve: Place beans and their liquids in a bowl. Top with sourdough and pistou. Finish with a bit of fresh lemon zest and salt and pepper.
- I leave about an inch of the green tops from the carrots on for added flavor and reduced waste.
- Taste and adjust. This is a guide, but I strongly encourage you to adjust flavors based on preference. Run with it.
- Can be served at any temperature.
- Leave the peel on carrots, onions, and garlic. Adds flavor and makes this super easy. This is rustic and fun.