15 Bean Soup is slow cooked in vegetable broth with carrots, celery, onion and fresh garlic. This 15 Bean Soup Crock Pot recipe is high in fiber and nutrition, while still being a comfort food recipe that is perfect for cold nights!
As soon as fall weather hits, I'm cooking up all of the soups, stews, Dutch Oven and Crock Pot recipes! Nothing beats these warm and comforting meals that easily fill hungry bellies.
15 bean soup mixes are sold as dried beans and sometimes also called 13, 14 or 16 bean soup mix. You can use any variety of dried bean soup mix that contains several different varieties of beans.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy to prep: Prepare all of your soup ingredients the night before and then simply dump them into your slow cooker in the morning! Nothing needs to be cooked ahead of time, making this a really simple "dump and go" recipe.
- Set it and forget it: This is one of those "turn it on and walk away" slow cooker recipes!
- Very inexpensive: The main ingredient in this recipe only costs between $2 and $4!
- Healthy and nutritious: 15 Bean Soup is high in fiber thanks to the beans and vegetables and also packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Feeds a crowd: This recipe makes SO MUCH SOUP! Plus, it's incredibly filling so a small serving goes a long way.
15 bean soup mix: 15 Bean Soup Mix is sold as a package of dried beans and is usually found in the canned bean section of the grocery store. One of the most commonly sold brands is Hurst's Bean Soup mix, which is what I used for this recipe. 15 Bean Soup mixes usually contain some or all of the following dried beans and legumes:
- northern beans
- pinto beans
- lima beans
- garbanzo beans
- baby lima beans
- green split peas
- kidney beans
- yellow split peas
- brown lentils
- red lentils
- navy beans
- white kidney beans
- black beans
- black eyed peas
Vegetables: You'll also need fresh celery, carrots, white or yellow onion and fresh garlic cloves. I like to add fresh parsley as a garnish right before I serve the hot soup!
Flavor enhancers: Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese are all used to build flavor in the soup and give a dose of umami.
Crock pot: Of course you'll need a slow cooker or a crock pot for this recipe. you can use the Crock Pot brand or any other type of slow cooker that you love. I've used this 7 Quart Manual Crock Pot for years!
You'll also need measuring cups, measuring spoons, a large cutting board and a sharp chopping knife. This 15 piece knife set is one of my favorites!
How to make 15 Bean Soup
Preparation for this soup recipe starts the night before. You'll need to soak your dried beans in water overnight.
Place the dried beans in a large bowl or stock pot. Quickly sort through the beans and discard any debris. Cover with about 10 cups of water and let sit overnight.
Soaking the beans improves texture, reduces cooking time and reduces the compound in beans that is known to cause stomach upset.
The next morning, drain the soaking water and rinse the beans.
Add all of the soup ingredients to the bottom of your slow cooker. This includes the beans, vegetable broth, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire, dried seasonings and 1-2 bay leaves.
Some soup mixes come with a seasoning packet. This can be discarded since we won't be using it in this recipe.
You'll also add the parmesan rind. Just the rind though! The rind is the top 1-2 inches of the block of parmesan cheese. Save the rest of the parmesan cheese for grating.
Cover and cook the 15 Bean Soup (crock pot) on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. When the soup is fully cooked the beans will be soft and the broth will have thickened very slightly.
Before serving remove the bay leaves the the parmesan cheese rind. Serve with a side of crusty bread and a garden salad for a delicious vegetarian meal!
- Don't forget to soak your beans the night before! This is a must-do step for this recipe so it cannot be skipped.
- Chop up your carrots, onion, celery and garlic the night before. This will make it so quick and easy to get everything into the slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning!
- Purchase the tomato paste that comes in a tube. I like to buy Cento Double Concentrated Tomato Paste. Purchasing tomato paste in a tube, instead of a can, means you'll always have it on hand and none will go to waste!
- Even though it is SO tempting to open that crock pot lid... don't do it! Every time you open the lid, you extend the cooking time.
Add ham: Many 15 bean soups include ham. The ham is either cooked down from a ham bone or cooked ahead of time and mixed into the soup. Adding ham is an excellent way to use up leftover ham from Christmas or Easter.
Add more vegetables: Many other recipes for bean soup include greens like spinach or kale. Greens can be added at the end of cooking time and simply mixed into the hot soup.
Add toppings: Crispy cooked bacon, shredded parmesan cheese, shredded cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream would all be delicious toppings for this soup recipe.
Add more seasoning: Many ham and bean soup recipes contain Cajun seasonings. Add a dried Cajun seasoning blend or some hot sauce for a little kick!
How to store: Store leftover soup covered in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to freeze: Bean soup freezes very well. You can freeze soup in plastic freezer bags, Souper Cubes or in glass mason jars. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.
How to reheat: Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator. Heat soup on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave.
Frequently asked questions
This 15 bean soup recipe will thicken as it cooks without adding any thickening agents like flour or corn starch. If the soup isn't thick enough for you then you could try thickening it with a corn starch slurry or by adding some extra canned beans. You could also mash the canned beans and mix them into the broth.
Yes, you can soak beans for too long. They will eventually start to ferment. I recommend only soaking the beans overnight, for about 10-12 hours.
The soaking water now contains the compounds that we were trying to remove by soaking the beans. This means you'll want to drain that water and start fresh when making your soup.
More soup recipes you'll love
- Dutch Oven Chicken Noodle Soup
- Cheesy Broccoli and Zucchini Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto
- Dutch Oven Beef Stew
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