Warm and Comforting Mixed Bean Soup features 15 different varieties of beans in one pot. Served with cornbread or a grilled cheese it makes the perfect meal for a cold winter day.
Although fall and winter are not my favorite seasons, I do have to admit that those 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.
I have a really old-fashioned soup for you today - Mixed Bean Soup.
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.
Look for the dried bean soup mixes with the other dried beans and lentils in your store. They're usually near the rice.
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.
How to Make Mixed Bean Soup
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you'll find the recipe card.
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.
Just pour all the beans into a soup 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.
After the beans have had a nice, long soak, drain off the water and return the beans to the pot. You can see in the photo how the soaked beans on the left look a bit cloudy, even muddy, after they've been soaked. The beans on the right have been drained and are all re-hydrated and ready to cook.
One extra step that I do at this point is to pull the outer skins off 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.
Cook the Soup
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.
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 :-)
Now add the ham hocks, one quart of water, and chicken broth to the pot with the beans. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 2 ½ 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. Serve with garlic bread, cornbread, or a lovely grilled cheese sandwich.
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Mixed Bean Soup
- 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
- Remove and discard the seasoning packet (if included) from the bean soup mix. 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 ½ 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 a little chopped fresh parsley if desired.
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.