This 15 Bean Soup is hearty and delicious and uses pork, vegetables, herbs, and garlic to create a delicious stock to cook the beans in. The soup is very versatile, you can use different herbs, and even create your own mix of your favorite beans! This soup recipe is perfect for winter nights, and is a tasty meal in itself with some warm crusty bread and butter – yum!
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15 Bean Soup
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
Of course, soup can be eaten all the year round, but there is something so comforting about a warm bowl of soup on a cold winters day that makes everything better.
Beans are a great ingredient to use in soups as they’re cheap and filling too, and a bowl of this soup will keep you satisfied and full and make a great dinner or lunch any day of the week.
This recipe is called “15 Bean Soup” because of packaged dry bean soup product from the N.K. Hurst Co which is the #1 selling mix in the US (Source: Wiki)
However, you can use any number of beans that you like in this soup. There are lots of dried bean soup mixes available, so buy and use what you can – or make up your own mix of beans! (Here in the UK I’ve found a 10 bean mix in Waitrose.)
The dried bean mix needs to be soaked overnight (approx. 12 hours) so remember to leave time for that. Or check the quick-soak method further down this post.
This bean soup recipe is made with an inexpensive cut of meat from the pork shoulder.
In the US it’s called “country style” ribs, but they’re actually a cut from the pork shoulder and not ribs at all! They can be bought with or without the bone.
Here in the UK, we don’t have that specific cut of pork, but you could use pork shoulder steaks or pork ribs (that are the actual ribs!) instead. You’ll still get great flavor. Or ask your local butcher if he could cut this piece of meat for you.
You can also use a cut of bacon, pancetta, or ham instead of the pork shoulder.
If you want to make a vegetarian version of this soup use a vegetable stock/broth as the base of your soup.
The other flavor element to this soup is the blend of herbs – there’s thyme, oregano, and parsley that go into the pot, as well as herbs de Provence which has a distinctive flavor profile.
Depending on the brand you buy, herbs de Provence may contain thyme, savory, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, tarragon, and lavender. These herbs are most commonly used in French cuisine, though the flavors also pair well with Mediterranean cuisine.
However, if you’re not a fan of that flavor, you could use Italian seasoning instead, using two tablespoons of it to replace all of the dried herbs listed. This reminder will be in the recipe card.
Again, depending on the brand you buy, Italian seasoning may contain basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic granules, sage, savory, and red chili flakes.
You can make your own herb blends if you have the individual dried herbs at home, simply mix together equal parts of each herb, and then use the quantity listed in the recipe.
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon if available online.
- 15 Bean Soup Mix – or your own mix of dried beans. See my tips section for a list of beans you could use in this soup.
- Herbs de Provence or
- Italian Seasoning
- Bay Leaves
- Fresh Basil Leaves – added at the very end just before serving
This recipe uses American cups. They’re a handy piece of kitchen equipment to have along with a kitchen food scale. Having both in your kitchen means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog as I use both cups and weighted measures.
More Recipes Using Beans
Of course the hero ingredients in this recipe are the beans! So here are some more recipes using the same:
More Soup Recipes
Looking for more soups to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Slow Cooker Spicy Pumpkin and Butter Bean Soup
- Cuban Black Bean Soup
- One-Pot Easy Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
I’ve got more Easy Soup Recipes for you to enjoy – right click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
Bean Soup Recipe Tips
How to Quick Soak Beans
Dried beans need to be soaked overnight before cooking in this soup – so make sure you leave the time to do this.
Pre-soaking dried beans can reduce the cooking time by around 25% and helps the beans to cook evenly without splitting.
But what if you forget to soak them in advance, or really fancy a bowl of this soup for dinner? No worries, there is a way you can quick soak the beans!
- Before soaking or cooking the dried beans, make sure you pick through them to make sure that there aren’t any little stones or debris mixed in the bag!
- The bag of beans may have a quick soak method listed. On the Hurst’s brand, it says to place the beans in a pot of water, bringing to a rapid boil, and boil for around an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- However, there is an even easier method to quick-soak beans! Place the beans in a pot and cover with water by 3″/7.5cm. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Cover and leave to sit for 1 hour, before draining, rinsing, and using in the recipe.
- For the fastest soup, you could use a mixture of canned beans – however, since these have been cooked, they do not need the long cooking time as the recipe states. Follow the recipe as listed, but instead of adding the dried beans in step 5, add canned beans after about an hour in step 6.
What Types of Beans Can I Use in 15 Bean Soup?
If you can’t source a mix of dried beans to use in this soup (remember it doesn’t have to be 15! It could be 10, 13, 16, or even just two or three types!)
Hurst’s 15 bean mix contains [at least 15 of] the following beans listed below. Some of these beans may not be available where you live or may have different names.
- Black Beans – also known as black turtle beans, popular in Latin-American and Caribbean cuisine.
- Small Red Beans – another type of red bean is the adzuki bean.
- Kidney Beans – named after their shape, raw beans need proper preparation as can be toxic if not pre-soaked and subsequently heated to the boiling point for at least 10 minutes. (Source: Wiki) canned kidney beans are fine to use straight from the can.
- White Kidney Beans – also known as white Italian kidney beans or cannellini beans.
- Navy Beans – also known as haricot beans, Boston beans, pea bean. They are a white bean.
- Great Northern Beans – a white bean larger than navy beans, smaller than cannellini beans!
- Large and Baby Lima Beans – also known as butter beans.
- Pinto Beans – popular in Spanish cuisine.
- Green and Yellow Split Peas – literally dried peas that have been split in half.
- Black-Eyed Peas – also known as Black-Eyed Beans, a distinctive pale bean with a black “eye” in the middle.
- Various Forms of Lentil – types of lentils you can buy include brown, green, yellow, red, puy (French), and black beluga.
- Red Chief – a type of orange/red lentil.
- Eston – a type of green lentil.
- Pardina – a type of brown lentil.
- Crimson – a type of orange/red lentil.
- Cranberry Beans – also known as borlotti beans or shell beans or rose cocoa beans
- Chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans
- Small White Bean – just a small white bean I guess! One such type I found in another mix was Spanish alubia beans.
- Pink Bean – popular in Caribbean cuisine.
Additional beans you may find dried to use in this soup: fava beans, mung beans, flageolet (fayot) beans, anasazi beans, soy beans, pigeon peas and calypso beans.
Sidebar: As I type out this list, I’m finding out that so many beans are very similar! Ultimately use what beans you can find in your grocery store!
To make your own mix of beans, choose the types your want and mix equal quantities of each into a large bowl. Pour into an airtight container and use in recipes as required.
Give Bean Soup Mix as a Gift!
If you are making your own mix of dried beans, why not package them up in jars and give as a gift? Include the printed recipe card, or even a link to this blog post so that they can make this delicious soup too!
How To Store Bean Soup
If you’ve not eaten all of the soup and need to store it for another time you totally can!
- Refrigerator Storage – allow the soup to cool for 30 minutes (and no longer than 2 hours) before transferring to an airtight container and placing it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer Storage – cool soup as above, and place in the fridge until completely cooled. Transfer soup to an airtight freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the soup to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, place a portion of soup in a saucepan over medium-low heat and gently simmer until hot. You can also reheat the leftover soup in the microwave until heated through.
How Do I Make 15 Bean Soup?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
- 1 (14 oz / 400g) bag dried multi-bean blend, rinsed and picked over
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 lbs / 1kg pork shoulder country-style ribs
- 2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth or water
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1½ tsp dried thyme
- 1½ tsp dried parsley
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp dried herbs de Provence*
- 3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Soak beans overnight or use the quick soak method according to package directions. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a 6 quart (approx. 5.6 L) or larger Dutch oven or cooking pot set over medium heat.
- Season pork ribs with salt and black pepper to personal preference, and add to the pot. Sear on both sides, approximately 6-7 minutes per side or until the meat easily releases from the bottom. Transfer ribs to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil, celery, carrot, onion, and garlic to the pot. Season with salt and black pepper, to personal preference, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften and begin to develop some color, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Return ribs to the pot and add soaked and drained beans, chicken broth (or water), bay leaves, and dried herbs. Season with additional salt and black pepper, as desired, and stir to combine.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid boil, then immediately reduce heat to just below medium for one hour and 15 minutes or until pork falls easily off the bones and the beans are tender, but not mushy.
- Remove from heat and remove the bones from the pot. Pull the pork apart with two forks to create bite-sized pieces. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
- Stir in fresh chopped basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!
* If you prefer, the herbs (1½ tsp dried thyme, 1½ tsp dried parsley, 1½ tsp dried oregano, and 1½ tsp dried herbs de Provence) can be replaced with 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 496Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 846mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 37g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the main dish, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Side Dish: Cheesy Chilli Cornbread
- Beverage: Apple Cider Dark and Stormy Cocktail
- Dessert: Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!