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.
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
- 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.
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
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 this 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.
Related Recipes You May Enjoy
- Easy 3-Ingredient Creamy Broccoli Soup
- Potato Vegetable Chowder (Vegan)
- Spicy Lentil Chili for the Instant Pot
- Slow Cooker Vegan Chili
- Stuffed Peppers with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
15-Bean Vegetable Soup
- 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
- ⅔ 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.
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Have you tried this 15-Bean Vegetable Soup Recipe? Please share the recipe with a friend and let me know how you liked it in the comments: