Cook the beans and shallots in boiling water until tender. Drain well, then purée with the softened butter, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in sufficient cream to give the desired consistency and reheat very gently.
Put the purée into a warmed serving dish and sprinkle over the fried bread crumbs.
© 1999 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.