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
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.
The next morning, rinse the beans in a colander and drain.
Place the soaked beans in your slow cooker.
Chop the vegetables of choice.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the slow cooker.
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.
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!
Sixteen-Bean Soup Recipe
- 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
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.
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
- 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.
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
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