15 Bean Soup
I bet you know why this recipe is called “15 bean soup.” There are 15 different types of beans in this soup. This soup is not only delicious, but it is healthy for you too. Beans are rich in plant protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Most beans are also low in fat. Eating beans is a part of a healthy diet that can help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, and other heart disease and diabetes risks.
You don’t have to search the grocery store for 15 types of beans; the good news is you can find a bag of beans called “bean soup mix.” It is essentially a dried bean variety pack.
You will notice the ingredients listed below. I only suggested the amounts of vegetables, broth, and seasonings; this recipe allows you to be creative and add more or less of any ingredients.
The possibilities are endless when adding ingredients to this versatile soup. You can make this a spicy soup, a mild soup, a vegetarian soup, or you can add meat for additional flavor; here are some of my suggestions;
Two tablespoons of EVOO to saute your vegetables.
- Vegetables. There are very few soups that I don’t add the trinity of onion, carrots, and celery. I use one small onion, two stalks of celery chopped, and two carrots sliced. You can also add zucchini, corn, tomatoes.
If you add any meat or seafood to this recipe, add approximately 1.5 cups of meat. If you prefer a thicker consistency like a chili, add more meat.
- Ham. I had a leftover ham in my freezer, so I added it to my soup. If you have a ham bone, you can add that too.
- Chicken. I buy a whole rotisserie chicken, shred it and store the extra in the freezer.
- Sausage. You can add Polish sausage or Italian sausage.
- Seafood. I added shrimp to this recipe, but you can add scallops or white fish (if you add white fish, be sure to cook it first and add the fish at the end, the beans can be heavy against the fish.
- Broth. Any broth will enhance this soup. In this recipe, I added ham, so I didn’t add any additional broth. Eight cups of broth, stock, or adding a ham bone, add water.
- Spices. The bean soup mix comes with a seasoning packet; I prefer not to use it, I like to add my seasonings, but it is up to you. For example, I wanted a Cajun-creole flavoring, but you can add Mexican herbs or Italian spices.
- 1–28 Ounces of Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. I prefer the added kick the fire-roasted tomatoes offer, but any canned tomatoes will do.
- The Finishing Touch. Again, it depends on the flavor you chose. You can add a dollop of sour cream, plain non-fat yogurt, feta, or parmesan cheese, in the picture, you can see I added smoked paprika and chopped scallions.
Like all dry beans, the beans do need to soak overnight. If you prefer the quick soak method, follow this method to quickly soak your beans:
Rinse and drain your beans. Then, place in a pot and cover with 3 inches of cold water, and boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the stove, place a lid on the pot, and let the beans sit for about 1 hour. Drain, rinse and cook according to recipe instructions.
- When you are ready to cook the soup: drain and rinse the beans.
- Prepare any uncooked meat, then once finished add to beans. Shrimp can be cooked in the soup.
- In a saute pan, add EVOO and add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened and add to beans.
- Add any remaining vegetables to the pot.
- Add seasonings, broth, or water.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then partially cover and simmer until the beans begin to break down.
- Stir in the tomatoes and spices, and let simmer uncovered to further develop the flavor.
- Adjust seasoning as desired, and serve hot with any toppings.