I don’t know about you, but I love green bean casserole. What I don’t love is canned soup and ready-made fried onions. I came up with this recipe a couple of years ago, and have been making it every Thanksgiving and Christmas since then. My version doesn’t include mushrooms or fried onions, but you won’t miss them. The soup is flavorful and oniony (if that is even a word), and is comprised of garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots, with added richness from beef stock. It is covered with toasted panko, pine nuts, and gooey extra sharp cheese.
I wish my picture could do it justice. I have the most difficult time photographing dishes like this, and unfortunately this photo is the best of the worst. You will have to take my word for it, it is truly delicious 😉 If you are tired of the same old green bean casserole, I hope you give this a try 😀 Did I mention, all of the components can be made ahead of time? Happy Thanksgiving planning!
Chop the onion, leeks, shallots, and garlic (note: leeks hold dirt, so make sure and cut in half and rinse out each layer). Place the butter and olive oil over medium heat (use a pan large enough to hold all the soup ingredients). Once heated, add the onion, leeks, shallots, and garlic. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the onions become translucent and soft. Stir occasionally during this process. Continue on medium, until the veggies begin to caramelize, stirring as needed (which will take about 10 minutes).
Carefully add the beef stock and then the salt, and bring to a boil. Let boil covered for 5 minutes, and then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes. Keep covered and stir as needed throughout this process.
Once the soup is ready, remove it from the heat and puree. Ensure whatever you are using to puree, is made for very hot liquids, or you will have to let it cool first. If you are using cream, stir it in now (note: if you are making this ahead, wait to add the cream when you are reheating).
As soon as the soup begins to cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
While the soup is cooking, cook your beans. Boil them in adequately salted water, and let them cook halfway, and strain. They will finish cooking in the casserole. During this time, you will also want to slightly toast the panko bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for just a few minutes. You want them to be very light golden brown. Set the bread crumbs aside. Grate your cheese if needed and set aside.
Assembling the casserole
Once everything is ready, begin to assemble your casserole. Oil a 9x13 inch pan, with deep sides (I use glass). Place the par-cooked beans in a layer in the bottom of the pan. Then pour your soup over the beans, covering them. Add your bread crumbs evenly on top and then your pine nuts. Place in the oven for 7-9 minutes, just until the nuts and bread crumbs begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and add the cheese evenly over the top, ensuring your nuts are covered to prevent them from burning. Place back in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the cheese is melted and begins to slightly brown. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
For Thanksgiving: Prepare the major components a day or 2 ahead. Slightly warm the soup and beans separately and then assemble the casserole. This will make for a quick and tasty side dish on Thanksgiving day!