15 Bean Soup

A colorful mix of different beans in various shapes and sizes.

15 Bean Soup (a registered trademark of the N.K. Hurst Co. since 1988) is a packaged dry bean soup product from the N.K. Hurst Co. According to company president Rick Hurst, over the last 20+ years, it has become the #1 selling dry bean soup in the U.S.


HamBeens™ 15 Bean Soup * comes in half a dozen different flavors (although I think I only found two flavors here in Duluth, MN). It comes as a bag with at least 15 different varieties of beans, and a flavor packet which you can add to your soup, or, like me, discard and use your own seasonings. The variety of beans is nicely balanced, so you don’t have a whole lot of one kind of bean and a few token beans of other varieties. It’s super colorful too.

Pork and beans is a classic flavor combination, and has been used at least as far back as Roman times. You can use pretty much any sort of sausage or ham product with this soup. I’ve made it with smoked sausage and with ground sausage and it is delicious both ways.

There are all kinds of advice for cooking beans out there. I’m pretty sure every single one of them has people who subscribe to a school of thought that the exact opposite is true. According to the recipes on the Hurst Company website you shouldn’t add any acid until the beans are soft, as it will affect the cooking of the beans. I’ve heard the same thing about salt. I’ve also cooked beans with tomatoes or salt added both at the beginning and end of the cooking process and can’t say I’ve noticed a difference. But for this recipe I add the tomato and lemon juice after the beans are soft.

The same goes for soaking your beans. I have not done a side by side comparison (I suppose I should do that at some point with this leguminous project I’ve embarked on), but I don’t think there is an appreciable difference in cooking time between soaked and un-soaked beans. I also can’t vouch for or against the claim that soaking beans removes some of the undigestible proteins and makes them easier on the stomach. Growing up in a vegetarian household we ate a lot of beans, and we usually soaked them, so I generally soak my beans now. But for this recipe I went with the throw it together in a crock pot and go about your day approach, so I skipped the soaking step.

I’ve served this over rice, and with a nice chunk of cornbread. Delicious either way.

15 Bean Soup

Crock Pot, No soak recipe

Serves: 12
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 6.5 Hours
Total Time: 7 Hours

1 20 oz. package 15 bean soup mix
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
¾ lb. sliced smoked sausage, diced ham, or browned ground sausage
1 ham bone or ham hock
1 ¼ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
5 cups chicken broth
1 14 oz. can diced tomato
1 lemon, juiced
Hot sauce, to taste

¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons dry thyme

Rinse beans. Place in a 5 qt. slow cooker. Chop onion, carrot and celery into bite size pieces and add to the slow cooker along with meat, spices and chicken stock. Add water to cover everything by 2 inches. Set slow cooker on High and cook for 5-7 hours, until beans are soft. If using Ham bone or hocks, remove bones, leaving any meat in the soup. Add tomato, lemon juice and hot sauce and seasoning packet from the bean mix (if desired). Simmer another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve.

*I receive no compensation for mentioning this product.

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