Warm and Comforting Mixed Bean Soup featuring a mix of 15 types of beans. Perfect for cold winter days or any time you want a delicious bowl of soup.
I'm sitting here this morning watching the last leaves on the trees fall on a damp, misty, foggy landscape. There's not even a hint of sunshine. It's one of those mornings that proclaims loud and clear that winter is on its way.
Although fall and winter are not my favorite seasons, I do have to admit that days like today 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.
Comfort on a Winter Day
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
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 sitting in water. 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 another 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 crackers.
More Soup Recipes from Never Enough Thyme
Bean Soup Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- The Famous Senate Bean Soup from The U. S. Senate
- Roasted Garlic Lover's White Bean Soup from Farmgirl Fare
- White Bean Soup with Ham and Rosemary from Kalyn's Kitchen
- Black Bean Soup from The Novice Chef
- Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup from A Year of Slow Cooking
- Greek Garbanzo Bean Soup from Mama's Taverna
- 3 Easy Bean Soups in 30 Minutes or Less from Serious Eats
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Mixed Bean Soup
- 20 ounce package 15 bean soup mix
- 3 quarts water divided
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 lb. smoked ham hocks
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 tblsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. 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.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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