15-Bean Soup

updated Oct 3, 2020
15-Bean Soup

This recipe is based off of the classic bag of “bean soup” mixed beans by Hambeens.

Makesabout 8 bowlfuls

Prep20 minutes

Cook1 hour 25 minutes

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Credit: Caroline Wright

I’m what you would call a soup lady. I run an underground vegan soup club in Seattle, and wrote a cookbook entitled Soup Club. I like soup — a lot. So when the pandemic hit this spring and all the beans I usually use in my soups suddenly became sparse, I was forced to get creative with whatever was available at the grocery store.

This recipe is based off of the classic bag of “bean soup” mixed beans by Hambeens. My bean mix — random bits left over after a season of soup-making — was comprised of 3 tablespoons each of navy beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, green split peas, green lentils, black lentils, small red beans, adzuki beans, black beans, chickpeas, cranberry beans, pink beans, red lentils, brown lentils, and mung beans.

If you don’t have all of these beans in your pantry, you can just use a few kinds that I mentioned here. Really, any bean will do. In fact, this soup would still be delicious if you used 1 1/4 pounds of a single beans (but the more the merrier).

15-Bean Soup

This recipe is based off of the classic bag of “bean soup” mixed beans by Hambeens.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 25 minutes

Makes about 8 bowlfuls

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/4 pounds

    mixed dried beans, 1 (20-ounce) bag 15-Bean Soup (seasoning packet discarded)

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 1

    large green bell pepper

  • 4 cloves


  • 1/4 cup

    nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    celery seeds

  • 4

    dried bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon

    smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons

    chili powder

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 cups


  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon

    apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed


  1. Place 1 1/4 pounds mixed dried beans in a large bowl, add enough cool water to cover by 2 inches, and let sit overnight at room temperature.

  2. Prepare the following, placing them together in a large bowl: Dice 1 large yellow onion and 1 large green bell pepper. Coarsely chop 4 garlic cloves.

  3. Place 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds in a spice grinder. Crumble in 4 bay leaves. Process until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons chili powder, and stir to combine.

  4. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Season with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the soaked beans.

  5. Add the beans, spice mixture, remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 6 cups water, and 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices. Cover and bring to a boil.

  6. Uncover, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth has reduced to a thicker consistency, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Taste and season with more salt and vinegar as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.