13 Bean Soup (Vegetarian)
It’s that time of year (winter/sports time) where I’m pretty much always craving a large pot of something warming and delicious like this 13 Bean Soup Recipe! It’s made in one pot and is vegetarian, but hearty enough that anybody will love it. It’s also a Gluten Free Soup, so bonus!
Trust me, the meat isn’t missed in this 13 bean soup! Because of the huge variety of beans in the soup, the textures, flavors, and colors are really awesome.
Not to start some sort of bean-count cold war here, but 13 is a lot and, most importantly, they all do something nice to the final chili. They aren’t there just to up the bean count!
If you’re like me, something healthy to battle the cold and dark nights is very wanted right now. This is IT.
1) Soak two cups of beans overnight in cold water. If you’re a bad planner, you can quick soak them for 90 minutes in steaming water. But it’s best to gently soak them in cold water overnight.
2) Bring a large pot of water to a simmer (no salt) and add soaked beans. Turn heat down so water is barely at a simmer. Simmer beans for 75-90 minutes until they are tender.
3) Drain beans and set aside.
4) In a sturdy pot, add olive over medium heat. Add diced sweet potato, onion, and red pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes until veggies soften. Season with salt and pepper.
5) Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika to the pot and stir. Cook for 30 seconds.
6) Add diced tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring chili to a slight simmer. Turn heat down to low again and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7) Add beans back into chili and season chili with salt and pepper to taste. Keep chili warm until you serve it.
Serve chili topped with grated cheese, pickled jalapenos, and chopped chives!
13 Bean Soup Recipe
Here are all the beans in the mix I used from Bob’s Red Mill: navy, black, red, pinto, baby limas, large limas, garbanzo, great northern, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, yellow split peas, green split peas, and lentils.
If you’re more of a visual person:
Of course, the thing about using dried beans is that you have to soak them before you can cook them. This is dumb simple, but requires some planning.
The best way to soak these beans is to cover them with cold water overnight. That will gently rehydrate them which is the best way to do it.
If you’re in a rush, you can quick soak the beans by covering them in steaming water for about 60-90 minutes.
Once the beans are soaked, drain them from the soaking water and simmer them in a large pot of water over low heat for 75-90 minutes until they are tender.
After you drain the beans, some might look a bit on the mushy side. THAT’S OKAY. The cool part is that those will sort of blend into the chili and thicken it nicely while the hearty beans will give it good texture.
This was my colander of soaked and simmered beans!
While I love this 13 Bean Soup mix because it gives you such a variety of beans, you can use any mix of dried beans to make this chili. For this recipe, I’m not really on board with using canned beans though. The dried beans have a much nicer texture and the finished texture is much better. Canned beans absolutely have their place in the kitchen. I’m not sure I would use them for this recipe.
Finishing the 13 Bean Soup
Once your beans are simmered, this 13 Bean Soup comes together pretty quickly. I chopped up an onion, a red pepper, and a small sweet potato. The sweet potato gives the chili some nice color and a little sweetness which goes well with the spices. Don’t skip it!
Add some olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and sweet potatoes. Cook them for about 8 minutes, stirring regularly, until they soften.
Then add the garlic and all the spices plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Now we are talking!
Stir that all together for 30 seconds and then add the diced tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring this mix to a simmer and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to combine flavors and finish cooking the sweet potatoes.
Finally, add back in the beans and stir to combine. Waiting until the end to add the beans back in will keep them from getting too tender.
Season the 13 Bean Soup with salt and pepper and you’re ready to go.
You could serve this with any toppings that you want. Personally, I like some grated cheese, a few pickled jalapeños and some diced chives.
This is pretty hard to beat when there’s snow on the ground and/or football on TV.
Here are a few other great soup recipes!
- Easy Salmon Chowder
- Kidney Bean Soup
- Black Bean Tortilla Soup
- Chicken Veggie Soup from Dinner at the Zoo