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15 Bean Soup

There is no winter storm cold enough or nasty enough to with stand a pot of 15 Bean Soup!


Ivan's 15 Bean Soup - Click image above for video

Special Equipment choose one:  
Dutch Oven

Crock Pot

Bean Pot Pressure cooker

 

You will also need:  

or

Mixed Beans 1lb

Ham Bone

 

Ham Hock

 

Plus you will need to chop these veggies up:  

Celery 2 stalks

Carrot

Onion

Jalapeņo

You will also need some cooking oil, salt, pepper, and water.

 

Here is the easy to copy version:

15 Bean Soup Ingredients list:

1-lb bag of 15-bean soup dried beans
1 Ham bone or Ham Hock
2-Stalks of celery
1-Carrot
1-Medium Onion
1-Jalapeņo (optional)
1-tablespoon dried herbs - Epazote, Cilantro, Savory, or Italian mix
2-Quarts water
Salt
Pepper

 
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Instructions
Here is a close up of the 15 bean mix - you will need to pick over these beans as some times there are foreign objects included that you don't want to cook - like small stones, ugly beans etc.

The mix includes all size beans from split peas to very large lima or butter beans as it cooks some of the smaller beans melt completely into the soup making for a thick broth.



15 Bean mix You can find it in most grocery stores.


Epazote

I suggest you add a tablespoon or so of some herbs - Epazote is not that common in American kitchens, it's the Bean Herb, very popular in Mexico - Substitutes: Savory, Cilantro, Thyme, or Italian herbs.

Soaking the Beans

Don't do it! It's a waste of time.

Starting the Pot

Start the pot with enough oil to fry the onion and other veggies, when they start to brown you can add the beans, the ham bone or ham hock and then the water. Stir and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom then bring it up to a slow boil,  and turn down to simmer for 10 min or so. The beans will start to expand.

Cooking the Beans

This part depends on your pot.  Slow cooking is the best!
Dutch Oven Put on the lid and turn you fire down as low as it will go, if you have an electric stove and a good heavy pot you are in luck that combination is capable of long slow cooking pretty much unattended. Now if you have gas, likely you will need to watch you pot more closely, and stir it, don't let it boil, and don't let the beans stick to the bottom and burn! You may want to stack your burner grates to move the pot farther from the flame to slow it down or just put it in the oven at around 225-250F. This will take anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on how slow you go.
Crock Pot Turn you crock pot on low and let it cook it will take  most of the day  6-8 hours. To speed it up you can try it on high, it will take at least 2 hours more likely 3.
Bean Pot Put you bean pot in a slow oven around 225F for real slow, 250F for medium and as high as 300F for fast cooking.
Pressure Cooker I like a pressure cooker - So at this point I put the top on and turn up the heat and wait about 10 min while the pot comes up to pressure, then turn it down low so the steam valve just makes a pleasant shush, shush, shush - I cook it under low pressure (15 lbs)  for 20 min. then I turn off the heat and let the pot cool until it is ready to release.
Season the Beans At the end when the soup is thick and the biggest beans are tender salt and pepper to taste - If you used a ham bone you will want to fish that out of the pot now. At this point I like to add some chucks of ham to the soup, in any case it's ready!

NOTE: Your beans may come with a ham flavor package, that will never do, if you don't use a ham bone or a ham hock and you make this soup don't mention my name.  -Ivan