15 Bean Soup with Bacon, Mushroom, Tomato and Escarole

15 bean soup

Today I’m making 15 bean soup featuring garlic, cremini mushrooms, vine-ripened tomato, escarole leaves, onion, carrot and celery. The soup is delicious and healthy.

I start this recipe the morning or night before by soaking a pound of dried 15 bean mix in lightly salted water. The process softens the skins of the beans and allows for more evenly cooked beans when I make soup. I dissolve a tablespoon of salt into 6 cups of water and add the salted water to a small mixing bowl along with the dried bean mix. I soak the beans 8 hours to overnight, depending on when I’m making the soup. When I’m ready to use the beans I place them in a strainer and rinse in cold water.

The dried beans are the star here. You can swap out the chicken stock for vegetable stock, if desired. I will swap out orange bell pepper for the carrot or green bell pepper for the celery if I have extra bell pepper that I need to work through.

15 Bean Soup with Bacon, Mushroom, Tomato and Escarole

15 bean soup featuring bacon, onion, celery, carrot, cremini mushrooms, garlic, dried thyme, bay leaf, chicken stock, 15 bean soup mix, escarole leaves, vine-ripened tomato, and fresh ground black pepper.

Contributed by Culinary Arts

Published: August 3, 2013

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 thick cut hickory smoked bacon slices, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh celery stalk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed into paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 (16 ounces) package 15 bean soup mix (seasoning packet discarded), soaked overnight in 6 cups salted water and rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped escarole leaves
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Ingredient 18

Preparation

  1. Sauté the bacon pieces in Dutch oven over medium heat until bacon is crisp.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Stir in finely chopped onion, finely chopped celery, finely chopped carrot. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in mushrooms, cover Dutch oven and cook about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms have released their liquid.
  4. Uncover Dutch oven and continue cooking about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic paste, dried thyme, bay leaf, broth, presoaked beans.
  6. Bring soup to a gentle boil over medium heat.
  7. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 45-60 minutes, or until beans have softened.
  8. Stir in chopped tomato and escarole leaves. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with crusty bread.
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