There is some advance planning to soak the beans for this 15 Bean Soup, but it is worth every minute. You can find the bean mix in the bulk aisle or in the soup aisle by the beans. it usually comes in a plastic bag complete with a “flavoring” packet. The flavoring pack is suspect as far as I am concerned, so I toss the flavoring pack in the trash. If the flavoring packet is organic than is totally optional for you to use.
My son Zach absolutely loves this soup. Whenever I pull out the big soup pot, his eyes light up and asks if I am making his favorite 15 bean soup, always hopeful that the answer is yes.
Whenever I make this recipe I always plan on making a little extra. It freezes well and is perfect for those cold winter nights, school lunches and when you want to bring soup over to help out a sick friend.
15 Bean Soup
You can use 1/2 lb. of bacon if you do not have ham available. It works just as well. If using bacon, dice the bacon into 1 inch pieces and add to the soup pot before the onions and celery. Cook for 10 minutes or until the bacon is thoroughly cooked but not crispy. Drain the grease from the pot and then follow the directions accordingly.
1 hour 15 minutes
You will need to sort through the beans, rinse and then soak them overnight. Look for tiny pebbles while sorting through them. I rinse them thoroughly and then put them in a large soup pot and cover the beans completely with water. They will expand so add extra water, about 12 cups
When you are ready to make the soup, strain the beans in a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.
In a large soup pot add the olive oil, onion and celery. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes
Add the beans and remaining ingredients to the pot and stir well
Cover and cook for 2 - 2/12 hours, stir occasionally. You can tell the soup is done if the beans are soft but not mushy
Garnish with shredded cheese if desired
You can freeze servings in plastic bags or mason jars, if using mason jars leave enough headspace for expansion.
This 15 Bean Soup recipe is organic, gluten free and dairy free.