A rich and hearty 15 Bean Soup that can be made with ham, sausage, kielbasa, or without any meat to make it vegetarian. It’s a delicious meal that only requires a good piece of crusty bread to complete. No soaking required.
Ever see those colorful bags of beans at the market that include 15 different types of beans? Don’t let the number tie you down. You can make this soup with any different kind of beans so if the bag you buy has less than 15 or more than 15 then just use it. I mean don’t take cooking so seriously.
Of course, you’ll need the trifecta of cooking - onions, carrots, and celery - to start with. And let’s not forget garlic! Those all get sauteed until they’re nice and softened. The aroma is pretty amazing just with these ingredients.
If you want this to be vegetarian, just use vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock. I mean, I know I didn’t have to tell you that, right? If you’re a vegetarian then you know what you have to do.
Basically, once the vegetables are sautéed, the remaining ingredients are added and you just let it simmer until the beans are cooked. This takes about 90 minutes or so. Because there are a variety of beans and some are bigger and thicker, some will take longer to cook. Makes sense, right?
As for the spices, we’re going to add salt to taste, pepper, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Remember, after the soup is done, you’re going to taste it and adjust the salt to your liking. Because this is all about you and what you like.
You can serve this delicious 15 bean soup with some grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on top. I mean, come on!
Did I mention a slice of good bread makes a great companion to this soup?
One last thing. This is written on every package of beans I’ve ever seen but I wanted to state it here for you. Dump the beans in a large bowl and cover it with some cold water. Give it a mix with your hand and let it settle. Some stuff will float to the top. Dump out enough of the water so that stuff drains off. Add more water if needed and repeat. Sometimes there can be debris in the mix and that’s just something that can’t be avoided. Just get rid of it. Not a big deal. Ok? That’s my public service announcement for the day.
Love this delicious 15 Bean Soup? Try my other soup-er soups:
- Peruvian shrimp soup
- French lentil soup with bacon
- Sweet potato vegetable soup
- Silky smooth cauliflower soup
- Simple silky smooth gazpacho
- Chicken and rice soup
- Potato leek soup
- Homemade chicken soup
- Beef barley soup
Life is too short for mediocre food.
Rich and Hearty 15 Bean SoupPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound of ham, sausage or kielbasa omit if making vegetarian
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 pound 15 bean soup mix rinsed and drained* (See Notes)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chicken stock or vegetarian stock
- 4 cups water
- Parmesan or Romano cheese optional for serving
- In a stock pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and meat. Cook until meat is browned and some of the fat is rendered. If making vegetarian, just add oil into the pan and continue to step 2.
- Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 - 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
- Add the carrots, celery, beans, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Give it a stir to wake up the seasonings.
- Pour in the stock and water. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover. Lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 ½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You may find the beans are cooked after 90 minutes. Because some beans are bigger and thicker, you may need to simmer a little bit longer.
- You can top with some grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Serve with crusty bread for a hearty meal.
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