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To Soak or Not to Soak?

January 21, 1998|RUSS PARSONS

Contrary to the advice in many recipes, you do not need to soak dried beans overnight before cooking them. It does nothing to improve their digestibility, and the reduction in unaccompanied cooking time is of marginal value.

That's especially true when you compare the taste. Cooking beans without soaking them results in deeper flavor and a thick, beany broth.

To make the cassoulet without pre-soaking the beans, simply increase the cooking time of the beans to 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, making sure to check the beans every 15 minutes to keep them adequately covered with water.

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