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Best Mixed Bean Soup

Looking for the perfect cozy soup for a cold winter night? Look no further! This easy Mixed Bean Soup will fill you up and keep you warm.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
A serving of mixed bean soup in a white bowl.

This warm and cozy Mixed Bean Soup is the perfect dinner for a cold winter night. It contains 15 different varieties of beans, and is made in one large pot! Served with grilled cheese or cornbread, it makes a comforting dinner that your whole family will enjoy.

Although fall and winter are not my favorite seasons, I do have to admit that cold, rainy days can be quite cozy. Especially if you can stay indoors. If there’s a fire in the fireplace it’s even better. All snuggly, warm and secure. The only thing you need to make a dreary day perfect is a great bowl of soup.

A serving of mixed bean soup in a white bowl.

My Cozy 15 Bean Soup is the perfect soul-warming remedy for cold temperatures. I love mixing it all together in the pot and letting it simmer. It will have you so warm and cozy that you won’t even think about the weather outside. Did I mention that it’s also absolutely delicious? How could you go wrong?

This old-fashioned mixed bean soup is very simple to make! Now, don’t think that you have to go out and buy a bunch of different types of dried beans. Nope. Just grab a package of mixed dried beans from the grocery store and you’re good to go.

You’ll find this near the rice and other dried beans. Sometimes it is labeled as mixed bean soup mix.

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The brand I see most often is called HamBeens. However, there are several other good ones on the market. Bobs Red Mill has a good one or you can even order a mix online from the Women’s Bean Project in Colorado and have your money go to a really good cause!

Heck, you can even make your own if you want to! Try this recipe from AllRecipes to put together your own mix.

A wooden spoon filled with mixed bean soup.

❤ Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • It’s full of flavor.
  • Simple to make!
  • It’s a one-pot meal making cleanup a breeze!
  • The perfect comfort food for cold weather.
  • A great way to add veggies into your diet.
  • It makes a large batch and is family-friendly.

🥘 Ingredients You’ll Need


Ingredients needed for mixed bean soup.
  • Mixed bean soup mix I recommend Hurst’s HamBeens 15 bean soup mix. It’s easy to find and very inexpensive!
  • Chicken brothIf you have homemade broth, use it! Otherwise, a good purchased brand such as Swanson is great.
  • Smoked ham hocksYou’ll find these in your grocer’s meat case with the other pork products.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Mixed Bean Soup


Soak the Beans

I think the beans are just beautiful! Such a pretty mixture of colors and sizes. Everything from huge dried lima beans to little tiny split peas and lentils.

  1. Pour all the beans into a soup pot (or a stockpot, a Dutch oven, or other large cooking pot), cover them with water and let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. I usually do them right before bed and they’re ready to go whenever I want them the next day.
  2. After the beans have had a nice, long soak, drain off the water and return them to the pot.
  3. Add 4 cups of water, the chicken broth, and ham hocks. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

👉 PRO TIP: One extra step that I do before cooking is to remove the outer skins from the big lima beans and discard them. They’re usually already floating on top of the water so they’re easy to find. You don’t have to do that, but it makes for a nicer finished soup. Just a little quirk of mine.

Must Have Stockpot

Made with polished 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum disc layered in the bottom for even heat distribution and to prevent hot spots.

Check it out >

Cook’s Standard Stockpot

Two smoked ham hocks sitting on a plastic tray.

👉 PRO TIP: About Ham Hocks: See those gnarly-looking things above? If you’re a southerner you know exactly what those are. They’re smoked ham hocks and they’re like gold to a southern cook. We use them in pretty much anything that needs some flavoring. Like this soup. A “ham hock” is the lower portion of the ham shank.

However, if you can’t get your hands on any ham hocks, you can also use a leftover ham bone or even smoked turkey wings. If none of those are within your reach, add some sliced smoked sausage for the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Better than nothing 😊

Finish the Soup

  1. Add all the remaining ingredients except lemon juice. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes or more until all the vegetables and beans are tender. Note: You can also remove the ham hocks at this point and add some sliced kielbasa or other sausage to the pot for the final cooking time.
  2. Just before serving, add the lemon juice.
  3. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
A serving of mixed bean soup in a white bowl.

🍽 How to Serve


This delicious soup is wonderful when served with my Cheesy Onion and Herb Bread, Old Fashioned Cornbread, or a lovely grilled cheese sandwich.

🍚 Storing Leftovers


Like many soups and stews, this one is even better when it sits overnight. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in a sealed, air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or larger portions in a pot on the stove at medium-low heat until lightly simmering.

To freeze, transfer the cooled soup into a freezer safe container. Be sure to label the container with the contents and the date it was cooked. To reheat, thaw it completely in the fridge, then heat it in a pot on the stovetop as directed above.

❓ Questions About Mixed Bean Soup


Why do I have to soak the beans before cooking this soup?

Honestly, no, you don’t have to soak dried beans before cooking. However, if you don’t the cooking time will be much longer and they may not cook as evenly. It’s really easy to pop the beans and water in the fridge overnight and it will make cooking easier.

Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for this soup recipe?

I like the additional flavor that chicken broth provides in this recipe, but feel free to substitute with another broth if you like.

Can I make mixed bean soup in the crockpot?

Yes! For the crockpot, cook on high for 5-7 hours. Test whether the beans are done and cook longer if needed.

🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like


A serving of Italian sausage, white bean, and spinach soup in a bowl on a decorative napkin.
A traditional Leek and Potato soup for St. Patrick's Day. Serve it hot in winter or cold in summer. Fantastic flavor! https://www.lanascooking.com/leek-and-potato-soup/
A bowl of Beans and Greens Soup with a spoon in the foreground.
A white bowl filled with ham bone soup.

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📖 Recipe

A serving of mixed bean soup in a white bowl.

Mixed Bean Soup

Looking for the perfect cozy soup for a cold winter night? Look no further! This easy Mixed Bean Soup will fill you up and keep you warm.
5 from 3 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 297kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces 15 bean soup mix (recommend Hurst's HamBeens)
  • 3 quarts water divided
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 pound smoked ham hocks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh parsley if desired, for garnish

Instructions

  • Place the beans in a large soup pot and add 2 quarts of water. Cover and allow to soak 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the beans and return them to the pot.
  • Add one quart of water, the chicken broth, and ham hocks. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except lemon juice. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes or more until all the vegetables and beans are tender. Note: You can also remove the ham hocks at this point and add some sliced kielbasa or other sausage to the pot for the final cooking time.
  • Just before serving, add lemon juice.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

  • If you don’t have access to ham hocks, you can also use a leftover ham bone or even smoked turkey wings. Or add sliced smoked sausage for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in a sealed, air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or larger portions in a pot on the stove at medium-low heat until lightly simmering.
  • To freeze, transfer the cooled soup into a freezer safe container. Be sure to label the container with the contents and the date it was cooked. To reheat, thaw it completely in the fridge, then heat it in a pot on the stovetop as directed above.
  • For the crockpot, cook on high for 5-7 hours. Test whether the beans are done and cook longer if needed.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 839mg | Potassium: 841mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2929IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on November 27, 2012. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

A bowl of mixed bean soup with a serving ladle alongside.

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is in the regular rotation for soups. So glad I stumbled on to your blog. I grew up with so many of these recipes. Love them all.

  2. I’ve made this several times and love it. I taste it before and after adding the lemon? BIG difference. I wonder if unsmoked ham hocks would be just as good since I bought them by mistake

    1. Laura – it would be good, but different. Of course, you won’t get any of the smoky flavor.

  3. made this last new year after having leftover ham, and it is amazing. i altered it only slightly (no tomatoes, so i subbed in more broth) and sautéed my onions and celery in bacon fat first.

    i’m making it again this week after having some leftover ham (and bone).

    thank you for such a great recipe!

  4. So yummy! I’m not sure how we ended up with the 15 bean mix…I guess hubby bought it. But I was looking for an alternative to the spice mix due to some allergies and came accross this recipe. Thanks!

  5. I have craving for my moms navy bean and ham soup. Bean and ham soup is so perfect together! Your soup sounds delicious, and love all the colors from the 15 beans:-) Hugs, Terra

  6. It is FINALLY getting cool enough here to enjoy soups like this one.. and this is definitely one of my favorites… love the addition of the lemon juice.. will have to try the next time I make this soup!!

    1. Why, thank you! Of course, your original recipe from the back of the package of beans is pretty fantastic, too. I’ve made it many times. But sometimes I just like to improvise a little :-)

  7. Umm…yummm. I love soups like this; looks fabulous Lana.

    We have a local group called ‘The Women’s Bean Project’ – it’s an organization that started very small many years ago with the intent of putting women to work making a decent wage and their job was to sort and package beans for soup mixes like this. It’s grown to be a org to be reckoned with but their focus is still the same. Empowering women who might now otherwise have a paying job. I LOVE making soup from their mixes…it gives me a warm feeling in more than one way.

    1. Question: Just wanted to cook a pot of dried beans with the left over ham bone and some meat. Did not wish to make a soup. Is it ok to cook the 15 bean soup dried beans this way and not add the other ingredients, like the onion garlic and tomatoes?