white bowl of 15 bean vegetable soup with spoon and thyme sprig

15-Bean Vegetable Soup

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15-bean vegetable soup is a tasty, comforting, warm bowl of goodness: perfect for a chilly day! Enjoy the variety of colors and textures in this easy vegan recipe. You can make a batch on the weekend and then enjoy it during the week for convenient packed lunches or dinners.

I love the variety of beans, lentils, and barley in this soup. Usually, I eat black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, occasional kidney beans, and lentils. I have never had some of the beans in this mix on their own. I hope you also find them to be festive and cheerful!

Nutrition in this Soup

Since this 15 bean soup is filled with so many beans, it is a great source of fiber. The fat source is mainly monounsaturated from the tablespoon of olive oil used to saute the vegetables – and you could substitute vegetable broth for that if you wish. Each serving provides about 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of plant-based protein.

Legumes and vegetables naturally include phytochemicals, which may help to prevent chronic diseases. This statement from the USDA about Dietary Patterns and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease reviews the benefits of diets rich in plant foods including legumes and even low-fat dairy foods, and fish. It reports that dietary patterns reduced in red meats, saturated fat, cholesterol, added sugar, and sodium are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Beans also supply some iron: plus this iron in the non-heme form from plants is absorbed better because the tomatoes in the recipe provide vitamin C.

Another plus with making your own soup is that you control the sodium content. Unlike soups from restaurants or pre-made ones from grocery stores, this has very little sodium yet a ton of flavor! I used just 1/4 teaspoon of salt for the whole batch….plus it was made from dry beans and homemade broth, therefore avoiding the sodium in canned beans and packaged broth. You can look for low-sodium canned tomatoes to reduce the sodium even further.

Ingredient Notes

15-Bean Mix – I have seen 3 brands of these in stores. The one I used actually had 16 beans in it! If you are wondering, I checked 2 packages and the mixes include:

  • Pinto beans
  • Small white beans
  • Small red beans
  • Pink beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Baby lima beans
  • Large lima beans
  • Black beans
  • Green split peas
  • Blackeye peas
  • Yellow eye peas
  • Whole green peas
  • Yellow split peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils and red lentils
  • Cranberry beans
  • Barley or pear barley

This last ingredient is important to note. You may not expect it in a bean soup, but barley contains gluten, so this soup is not OK for a gluten-free diet. It does have a nice chewy texture.

If your soup package comes with a seasoning packet, you don’t need it for this soup.

container of 15 bean mix

Tomatoes – I used canned diced tomatoes with chilies. This definitely made the soup a bit spicy. You can substitute diced tomatoes without chilies. I also noticed that one store brand comes in mild or medium chilies.

Vegetable broth – here is how to make homemade vegetable broth. This is really easy to do from vegetable scraps and you can keep it in your freezer for lots of cooking purposes, Or, you can purchase a natural type of vegetable broth. Look for a brand that is low in sodium.

Smoked paprika – this imparts a wonderful smoky flavor. You can substitute regular paprika if you don’t have it.

How to Soak and Cook the Beans

I actually soak and cook the beans first, because I like to make a batch of beans regularly and then use them in a variety of dishes. This recipe starts with a cup of the 15 bean mix. Since there are some large beans in this mix, I first rinsed them and sorted through them in case of any debris, then placed them in a container and covered them with a lot of water. I let them soak for several hours,

Then, I rinsed them and cooked them in the Instant Pot. For this, I added 4 cups of fresh water, a few dashes of salt, and cooked the beans in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 25 minutes. I let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, and then removed them from the pot and rinsed them.

While some recipes recommend cooking the beans while making the soup, I like to do this as a separate step. I have had some bad experiences in the past when making soup, chili, and stews and waiting for what felt like forever for the beans to get soft. This way, it took very little time to pull the soup together, and you can soak and cook the beans and make the soup at two separate times if it makes sense for your day.

How to Make 15-Bean Vegetable Soup

2 bowls of 15-bean vegetable soup on rust colored tablecloth

What to Have with this Soup

15-bean vegetable soup goes very well with fresh fruit like red grapes, apples, or pears. or enjoy it with some fresh bread or whole wheat crackers. Enjoy a green salad with it and my pumpkin vinaigrette salad dressing. Homemade croutons would be a nice addition, too!


Store 15-bean vegetable soup in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until it is hot.

15 bean vegetable soup with photo of soup in white bowl with spoon and melissatraub.com lime slice logo

Related Recipes You May Enjoy

white bowl of 15 bean vegetable soup with spoon and thyme sprig

15-Bean Vegetable Soup

Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN
Flavorful and filling – try this spicy soup to warm up on a cold day! Enjoy the textures of barley, veggies, and beans in this comforting bowl. Lots of fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates from beans and vegetables, with little fat.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking and cooking beans 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 178 kcal


  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • paring knife


Soaking and Cooking the Beans

  • 1 cup 15 bean mix, dry
  • 4 cups water

Making the Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup peeled, sliced carrots
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • cup diced, peeled sweet potato
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme


Soaking and Cooking the Beans

  • Rinse the beans and sort through them to remove any debris.
  • Place the beans in a container and cover them with several cups of water. Cover and let this sit for 2 – 4 hours.
  • Rinse the beans and place them in the inside liner of an Instant Pot. Add 4 cups of fresh water, a few dashes of salt, and pressure cook on medium for 25 minutes. Make sure the valve is in the closed position.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 15 – 20 minutes, and then release any remaining pressure, removed the beans from the pot, and rinse them.

Making the Soup

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic, sweet potato, smoked paprika, salt, and papper. Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Add the drained cooked beans, water, broth, tomatoes with chilies, and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato cubes are tender.
  • Remove the bay leaf, top with fresh thyme leaves, and serve.


If you don’t have an Instant Pot, rinse the soaked beans. Place them in a large pot with 4 or more cups of water. Bring them to a boil, and then lower the heat so the mixture simmers. Simmer for about an hour and a half until tender.
This was tested using a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo electric pressure cooker.
To make this soup mild, use diced tomatoes without chilies.
The nutrition estimate is from VeryWell Fit and the bean mix label.
Calories: 178
Fat: 4 grams
Saturated fat: 0.4 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 402 milligrams
Total carbohydrate: 40 grams
Dietary fiber: 7.8 grams
Total sugars: 4.0 grams
Protein: 8 grams
Vitamin D: 0 micrograms
Calcium: 62 milligrams
Iron: 2 milligrams
Potassium: 587 milligrams


Calories: 178kcal
Keyword beans, Lentils, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables
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17 thoughts on “15-Bean Vegetable Soup”

  1. I was looking up 15 bean soup recipes this morning when I came across this recipe. I love the addition of all the veggies and that it’s cooked in an Instant Pot – so easy!! Can’t wait to try it this weekend. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I love beans in a soup, they really do make a tasty and delicious meal. This soup looks glorious and is exactly the kind of veg packed soup that I enjoy eating. I’m going to look for a pack of those mixed beans!

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