The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It’s that time of year to make the best sixteen-bean soup ever! It’s full of delicious and healthy beans, plus, you can add so many vegetables and some leftover ham.

I froze some leftover ham cut into bite-size pieces because I knew I wanted to make this soup. This recipe has been in my cookbook for years. When I see the 16-bean soup mix on sale, I always buy a few bags.

In case you missed this post, Easy Turkey Pot Pie

Kitchen Items You May Need

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

Step One

Open the bag of 16-bean soup and look for small rocks or debris. Wash or rinse the dry beans.

Place the “washed” beans in a soup pot and cover them with cold water. Let them soak overnight.

Soak the Beans

Step Two

The next morning, rinse the beans in a colander and drain.

Rinse the Beans

Step Three

Place the soaked beans in your slow cooker.

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

Step Four

Chop the vegetables of choice.

Chop the Vegetables

Step Five

Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the slow cooker.

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

Step Six

Add the ham pieces. Add 7-8 cups of water or enough water to cover the beans. Sprinkle the seasonings on top of the water.

Set your slow cooker to 6 hours on HIGH. One hour before serving add the ham seasoning package included in the 16-bean soup package.

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

Finished Product

Do you love homemade soup as much as I do? I wish you could come over and have a bowl with me, I would love it!

The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

Sixteen-Bean Soup Recipe

5 from 3 votes
The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup
Sixteen-Bean Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Soak Beans Overnight
12 hrs
Total Time
18 hrs 15 mins
 
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 people
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 20 ounces 16 bean soup bag (save the "ham seasoning bag included)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 7-8 cups of water
Instructions
  1. Open the bag of 16-bean soup and look for small rocks or debris. Rinse the beans in a colander and drain. Place the "washed" beans in a soup pot and cover them with cold water. Let them soak overnight. The next morning drain the water from the beans. Place the soaked beans in your slow cooker. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Add 7-8 cups of water. Sprinkle the seasonings on top of the water. Set your slow cooker to 6 hours on HIGH. One hour before serving add the ham seasoning package included in the 16-bean soup package.

Read More of My Articles  Chocolate Chip Cookies: When Did They Start

What are the sixteen beans in the bag/soup?

It was fun to put together the list of bean varieties for this special soup. There were a few new names I wasn’t as familiar with. As with most soups from the shelf, you’ll find the old standby beans in most bean soups, such as lima, pinto, black, speckled, etc. We all tend to stick with those we know our family will eat, and have the flavor we enjoy the most.

  • Large Lima beans
  • Small White beans
  • Red Kidney beans
  • Baby Lima beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Speckled Lima beans
  • Black beans
  • Green Baby Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Cranberry beans
  • Pink beans
  • Small Red beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lentils
  • Whole Geen peas
  • Blackeye peas

One of the fun things I like about this soup is the variety of colors. All the bean varieties, along with some pea variations, make for a very colorful bowl of soup.

How do I store this soup after cooking?

After cooking I store the leftover soup in a Tupperware type container. It should stay good for 3 – 4 days in your refrigerator.

Can I freeze this soup after cooking?

Absolutely, place the soup in an airtight container and store it for 2-3 months in your freezer.

Can I use beans that are already cooked in cans?

Yes, you can skip the soaking of the beans, and just add 2-3 cans of your favorite type of canned beans.

Is 16-Bean soup good for me?

Yes, it has a lot of protein, fiber, and nutrients all in one bowl!

My soup is too thin, how can I thicken it?

Sometimes, we may add a bit too much water and we want the soup thicker, I get it. To thicken your soup, use your ladle to remove 3 tablespoons of the broth and place it in a bowl.

Read More of My Articles  The Best Corn Chowder Recipe

Stir in One Tablespoon of Cornstarch to the broth, stir until smooth. Add the mixture back to the slow cooker. It will thicken as it cooks.

Can I Make this without a Ham Bone?

Yes, you can. Do I love a ham bone? Oh, yeah! But sometimes I don’t have one and this soup is perfect without one.

Can I use a Ham Bone in this soup?

I didn’t have one today, but yes, you can throw a ham bone in when you start the slow cooker. After the soup is finished cooking, remove the ham bone and cut off the pieces of ham that are left on the bone, and put them back in the soup.

Can I use LENTILS to thicken up this soup?

A reader, Janet, (thank you, my friend), has taught me slowly how to use lentils in so many ways. Add about 1 cup of lentils to this recipe and it will thicken up really well.

Rinse the lentils as you did the beans, and add them to the slow cooker when you add the beans. The 16-bean soup mix has some lentils, but this would be an additional one cup of lentils.

Can I use another meat in the soup besides ham?

Deborah reminded me about adding ground beef instead of ham. Great tip!

Can I make this soup meatless?

You can make this soup vegetarian, by skipping the ham. It still tastes delicious!

What Can I Serve With The Soup

Final Word

Let me know if you try making my sixteen-bean soup recipe, you know I love to hear from you. It’s a great recipe to teach our kids and grandkids how to make a soup with very few ingredients. Soups of all kinds are a welcome meal this time of year as the weather turns a little colder. Nothing like a hot soup to warm up our bodies and spirits!

Plus, we can teach them how to stretch a meal with more beans! May God Bless this world, Linda

11 thoughts on “The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup

  • December 6, 2021 at 7:13 am
    Permalink

    5 stars
    Linda, I love bean soup, no matter how many beans. LOL I’ve made mine with and without ham. You can use ground beef if you want. It’s good anyway you fix it. I like to serve mine with cornbread. Yum I also love a vegetable soup. My grandmother made what she called soup mix. She froze all kinds of veggies and when she didn’t have enough to store in a meal size bag, she’d make her soup mix. Any and all kinds of fresh veggies in a large pan. (She used her metal dish pan to heat them up in). It was so good as is. We loved it.

    Reply
    • December 6, 2021 at 7:56 am
      Permalink

      Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! OH, I need to add the ground beef to the post, great idea! I’m with you, I love bean soup!! Of course, cornbread is the best!! Linda

      Reply
  • December 6, 2021 at 11:07 am
    Permalink

    This is similar to a bean soup I can every year. My recipe came from CANNING CENTS by Stephanie Peterson (en?). It uses Herbs de Provence for primary seasoning and is really delicious. This one sounds very good. I will try your recipe.

    Reply
    • December 6, 2021 at 11:32 am
      Permalink

      Hi JoEllen, oh I love that spice, Herbs De Provence!! I will try it next time!! Thanks for the tip! Linda

      Reply
  • December 12, 2021 at 9:31 pm
    Permalink

    I’m really tired of all the bean soup recipes needing that particular brand of beans and its seasoning packet. What can we substitute if we use our own (sometimes from bulk) bean mixes?

    Reply
    • December 13, 2021 at 8:36 am
      Permalink

      Hi Marsha, that’s why I listed all the beans so you can just make your own recipe. As far as the spices, parsley, pepper, garlic, basil, and some broth. Linda

      Reply
      • December 13, 2021 at 2:00 pm
        Permalink

        Great. Thanks so much Linda.

        Reply
  • December 16, 2021 at 9:27 pm
    Permalink

    5 stars
    I make this same soup but with two small changes. I put nickel size meatballs in for the meat and add a quart jar of tomatoes. YUM!

    Reply
    • December 17, 2021 at 7:40 am
      Permalink

      Hi Debora, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! Oh, I want to try making it your way! Mini meatballs and tomatoes, yum!!! Linda

      Reply
  • December 29, 2021 at 11:19 pm
    Permalink

    5 stars
    Linda;

    I would have to add Anazaze Beans. They are so delicious. My daughter bought her father a 20# bag or organic Anazaze beans for Christmas because he was complaining our chilli didn’t taste as good without them. They are a fantastic bean.

    Reply
    • December 30, 2021 at 6:31 am
      Permalink

      Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend. Those beans sound familiar, thanks for the tip. I have my food storage in a storage unit until our home is finished. I need to stock some of these! Linda

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating