Cajun 15 Bean Soup

Cajun 15 Bean Soup is spicy and meaty with ham, andouille sausage, beans, tomatoes and green chilis.  Can’t beat hearty and healthy!

Cajun 15 bean soup

What’s the best thing about holiday leftovers?  For me, it’s making ham bone soup! 

Every year I serve a ham during the holiday season–and some years it’s two!  Besides being a real crowd pleaser, you can’t beat the leftovers.  And one of my favorites is leftover ham bone soup like this Cajun 15 Bean Soup. 

Yes, how do you beat tasty and nutritious, with its healthy beans, tomatoes and peppers and a rich, spicy kick.  The soup was meaty and flavorful without having so much spice that my husband objected.  

And it’s even easy to make ahead and reheat!  

bite of bean soup

What is 15 Bean Soup?

Per Wikipedia, “15 Bean Soup is a packaged dry bean soup product from Indianapolis-based N.K. Hurst Co. According to company president Rick Hurst, it is the #1 selling dry bean soup in the U.S.”

The package was easy to find in a few different stores that I checked. It comes with a package of ham flavoring which I didn’t use.  I didn’t want to take the time to analyze the ingredients and I use my own ham or ham bone and a different twist on some of the other ingredients.

mix package

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  This soup is rich and flavorful with just the right kick of spice.

Nutritious.  Loaded with healthy beans, plus peppers and tomatoes .

Comfort Food.  Who doesn’t like winter soup!

Cajun 15 bean soup

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • 15 bean soup mix.  This provides the beans.  You can use other dried beans if you prefer, (especially since I didn’t use the ham flavor in the package).  You could also use canned beans and reduce the cooking time.
  • Oil.  This is used to sautee the vegetabls.
  • Onion, garlic, green peppers.  These add flavor and nutrition.  I have substituted other types of peppers if I didn’t have green peppers.
  • Water or broth.  This makes up the broth and helps rehydrate the beans.  I used half water, half broth.
  • Meaty ham boneThis provides flavor and nutrition.  You can also use a large piece (ham-bone size) of leftover ham.
  • Cajun seasoning mix, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Bay leaves.  These add cajun flavor.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis.  This adds flavor and a little heat.
  • Andouille sausage.  This adds cajun flavor and a little heat.  If you can’t get andouille sausage, you can use another sausage and add additional cajun seasoning and a little hot sauce.
  • Salt, pepper.  These enhance flavor.
  • Sour cream, chopped parsley.  Optional garnish.

Special Tools

  • No special tools required!

Step by Step Directions

Check dried beans and discard any debris found. Rinse, then cover beans with water or beer to an inch above top and soak overnight.  The next day, drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. 

top beans with beer or water

If using a slow cooker, boil the beans in fresh water for 30 minutes (the heat of boiling reduces a toxin in some beans). The boiling can be omitted if cooking stovetop (which will boil them).

In large stock pot, saute the onion, garlic and pepper in oil until tender. If using a slow cooker, transfer to the slow cooker. 

sautee onions, garlic peppers

Add the remaining ingredients, except sausage. 

add remaining ingredients

Cook on high for 5-7 hours in slow cooker or simmer on stovetop for about 3 hours until the beans are tender.  cook soup

When beans are tender, remove your ham bone and bay leaves. Discard bay leaves.  Remove meat from ham bone and cut into bite-sized pieces.

cut up ham

Add these and the sliced sausage back to the pot.

slice sausage

Cook for about another 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

How to Serve

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of parsley if you’d like.

This is a nice hearty soup that can be a meal all by itself.  But since variety is the spice of life, it would be great with some bread or muffins on the side.  You could use a crusty bakery bread or some tasty Pecan Cornmeal Muffins

And, as usual, I always recommend a nice green salad like this New Orleans Fried Oyster Salad.  It’s a tasty and easy way to get another healthy serving of vegetables!

Now even though this works as an entrée soup, it’s also great as a side.  Serve it as a starter for an entrée like Blackened Mahi Mahi.  Or do the classic cup of soup with half (or whole) sandwich for lunch.  Grilled Ham and Cheese would be great with this.   

Serving the soup

Variations

Andouille sausage would be most traditional sausage in a cajun soup.  But if you have trouble finding it, you can substitute another sausage and consider increasing the cajun seasoning and maybe adding a little hot sauce or a hotter pepper. 

And for another tasty sausage and bean soup consider this Portuguese Bean soup.

Leftovers

Foodsafety.gov recommends that soups be refrigerated and used within 3-4 days. 

This soup should freeze well if you’d like to keep if for longer storage.  

Cajun 15 bean soup

Tips & FAQs 

I usually cut my sausage into slices when I use it in soup.  But often this results in pieces that are bigger than bite-sized—especially if you’re serving kids.  So feel free to slice the sausage smaller if that may work better for you. 

Sometimes I have a lot of leftover ham.  Or even leftover ham that doesn’t have a bone.  In that case, I just slice off a ham bone sized chunk of meat and pop that into my soup pot.  It adds lots of delicious ham flavor and then I get lots of meat in the final soup. 

Peppers (green or colored, bell or hot) are often in the dirty dozen list of most contaminated fruits and vegetables.  So I try to go organic if I can.  In my small town grocery store there was no organic available and I subbed a frozen red pepper and a couple banana peppers from my summer CSA.  It worked great!

Why do I need to pre-boil the beans if using a slow cooker?  Some beans, especially kidney beans (which this mix lists), contain a toxin that needs to be deactivated by cooking.  There have been cases where slow cookers have not gotten the beans hot enough and people have gotten food poisoning as a result. 

There are a lot of nuances to this issue (varies by bean type, etc.) but newer recommendations are to boil them first if preparing them using a slow cooker.  Eating Well has more information on this.

Cajun 15 bean soup

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Cajun 15 bean soup

Cajun 15 Bean Soup

Cajun 15 Bean Soup is spicy and meaty with ham, andouille sausage, beans, tomatoes and green chilis. Can't beat hearty and healthy!
Author: Inger
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
bean soaking time 8 hrs
Total Time 14 hrs 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 439 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16-20 ounces dried beans 15 bean soup mix, I didn't use the ham flavor in the package
  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 green peppers diced
  • 7 cups water or broth
  • 1 meaty ham bone or a large chunk of leftover ham
  • 1 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 ounces fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis 2 10-ounce cans
  • 16 ounces andouille sausage sliced (or sub your favorite sausage)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sour cream, chopped parsley   Optional garnish.

Instructions
 

  • Check dried beans and discard any debris found. Rinse, then cover beans with water or beer to an inch above top and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.
  • If using a slow cooker, boil the beans in fresh water for 30 minutes. The boiling can be omitted if cooking stovetop (which will boil them).
  • In large stock pot, saute the onion, garlic and pepper in oil until tender. If using a slow cooker, transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except sausage.
  • Cook on high for 5-7 hours in slow cooker or simmer on stovetop for about 3 hours until the beans are tender. When beans are tender remove your ham bone and bay leaves. Discard bay leaves.
  • Remove meat from ham bone and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add these and the sliced sausage back to the pot.
  • Cook for about another 30 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 24gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 592mgPotassium: 1064mgFiber: 10gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 866IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 5mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Updated from original, published on Jan 12, 2019.

25 thoughts on “Cajun 15 Bean Soup

  1. Christie

    5 stars
    I love the idea of the 15 bean soup. I’m always worried the smaller beans would get overcooked. They don’t look like they did in this soup. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Lisa

    This is one recipe that I need to make….it will be perfect this week when our temps dip below 20 here in Georgia!

  3. Marcy

    Can you do this is a slow cooker crock pot? and possibly double the recipe? i actually live in New orleans so i make homemade red beans and rice often, but my mom is having surgery this week and I wanted to make her a soup. She loves red beans and red bean gumbo and this is a mix between the 2 so I’d like to put this on when I go to work.

    Thank you 😉

    1. Inger Post author

      Yes, you should be able to do this in a crock pot. And no problem doubling–I do that with soup all the time for the leftovers! Hoping for a speedy recovery for your mom. I hope she enjoys the soup!

  4. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    My son always makes a ham as well as a turkey for Thanksgiving but I’ve never been able to talk him out of the ham bone…smart boy. 🙂 Your cajan soup sounds great…I’ll just buy a thick slice of ham for the recipe.

    1. Inger Post author

      So we aren’t the only family to do two entrees for the holidays! So much fun!

  5. grace

    my stepdad gave all of us a huge hunk of ham hock after his christmas baking escapades and i’ve made lots of delicious soup with it! nothing else has quite the same power. 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      We went on vacation and our daughter did eat it for days Thao 😉 I was so happy she had something healthy since she doesn’t cook a lot !

  6. Velva

    5 stars
    A good bean soup is always anytime of year. Grew up on most days with a pot of beans simmering on the stove. Your Cajun ham and bean soup is soulful and comforting. Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

  7. Juliana

    I love the idea of adding cajun spices in this bean soup…sounds and looks delicious Inger. Thanks for the recipes…have a great week!

    1. Inger Post author

      Yes, I arrived at this one after worrying that some of the bean soups might not be flavorful enough. You have a good week too Juliana!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Tandy. We are hoping to get to New Orleans sometime this spring and looking forward to the food 🙂

  8. Denise

    You sound like I do! The best part of the ham is leftovers, especially the day I make my Mom’s Bean Soup. It’s like having a hug from my mom.

    1. Inger Post author

      Yes, fun memories Denise! My mom used to do lentil or split pea with the ham bone!

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