A delicious combination of butter beans baked au gratin with crisp bacon, onions and thyme - all bound in a tomato, crème fraiche and wine sauce! This should also be known as Fragrant Savoury Room Scenter - as the smell as this cooks is divine!! This recipe is real European fusion cuisine - the cassoulet idea from France, with the parmesan and wine sauce from Italy, and the crispy smoked bacon rashers from England. Serve this as a main meal for supper or lunch with salad and crusty bread, or as an accompaniment for sausages, stews, casseroles or roast meats........the bacon can be left out if you are serving it as an accompaniment. NB: This recipe was born when I tried to follow a recipe posted here on Zaar, Recipe #263905 - posted by Lindsey and originally a Nigel Slater recipe; I had no haricot beans, but I did have butter beans and lots of other bits and bobs to use up! I LOVE Lindsey's recipe - but feel that this recipe is different enough to warrant posting it - so, thanks to Linds and Nigel for the original idea! Preparation time includes cooking the bacon and the onion.