Cassoulet Soup

Preparation time
30 minutes

Cooking time
about 1 hour

4 as starter
2 as light lunch

Bouillon de cassoulet avec des boulettes de canard et saucisse de Toulouse

I first encountered cassoulet in jars at the supermarket, and I quickly discovered it’s a dish seen more in jars than bubbling away on the kitchen stove (it’s quite time-consuming to make). This recipe has the key cassoulet ingredients: duck, Toulouse sausage, tomato, smoked bacon, and white beans, but there’s no stewing for hours. Instead of being a heavy dish, my cassoulet has a light touch, with its bouillon base, and duck and sausage dumplings.

By Rachel Khoo
From The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo


  • 10-oz piece of smoked bacon
  • ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed well if marinated in oil
  • 1 oz dried cèpes or porcini
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup drained canned white beans (e.g., cannellini, Great Northern), rinsed
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • sprigs of parsley, to garnish

For the dumplings:

  • 10 oz duck breast, fat and skin removed
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 10 oz Toulouse sausages, skinned

Roughly chop the duck and whizz in a blender with the garlic, onion, and pepper until the same texture as sausage meat. Using your hands, combine this mixture with the Toulouse sausage, then take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and roll into small balls. (These can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.*)

  1. Put the bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, and dried mushrooms into a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Take off the heat, remove the bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and discard. Whisk in the tomato paste and add the sugar, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. (This bouillon can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.*)
  2. Bring the bouillon to a simmer and add the beans and carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes (don’t cook for too long or the beans may disintegrate). Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan until hot. Place half the dumplings in the pan and cook for 8–10 minutes, shaking the pan once in a while to stop them sticking. Remove and repeat with the remaining dumplings. Divide the dumplings among soup bowls, pour the soup over them, and garnish with parsley before serving.

* Both the bouillon and the uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost the dumplings for a couple of hours before frying.


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