15 Bean Soup is a spectacular dish that is loaded with a variety of beans and flavors. Sweet, juicy ham and Cajun seasoning are delicious additions to the savory chicken broth base and the earthy vegetables. All the bean varieties give this crock pot soup great flavor!
This Cajun soup recipe is not only easy to make, but it’s packed with protein for a filling meal.
Once you taste those tender beans and that delicious bone-in ham, you’re going to want to make this great option for every chilly day.
15 Bean Soup
Nothing beats hot soup on a cold day. With a variety of beans and vegetables, my 15 bean soup is the perfect meal to warm you up and make your taste buds dance.
This savory bean soup recipe is also easy to make and requires minimal preparation.
While soaking the beans or following the crockpot method takes a good amount of time, 15 bean soup with ham is worth the wait.
Whichever way you prepare this tasty leftover ham recipe, you’ll end up with a delicious concoction that will keep your body warm and your stomach happy.
Try these delicious Iowa Ham Balls for an easy appetizer! New recipes like this are always fun to make!
For more delicious soups, check out my 25 Best Ever Soups and Stews. You’ll find a healthy soup option and other soup recipes that are perfect for any occasion.
Cajun Soup Recipe Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Hurst HamBeens Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix – A delicious and hearty blend of Northern, pinto, large lima, yelloweye, garbanzo, baby lima, green split, kidney, cranberry, small white, pink, small red, yellow split, lentil, navy, white kidney, and black beans!
- Onion, Carrots & Celery – Also known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun cooking, these create the flavor base for your 15 bean soup with ham!
- Cajun Seasoning Packet – It wouldn’t be Cajun without this spice blend! Don’t want spicy soup?
Feel free to omit this and just use the additional seasonings below.
- Additional Seasoning – Add garlic, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaves to enhance the dish.
- Cooked Ham – Cubed or shredded ham is best! You can make this bean soup with ham hock, leftover ham, ham steaks, or andouille sausage too.
- Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth – This light, thin broth is perfect for your soup base.
- Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce – If your ham is especially salty, you can omit the soy sauce.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – Regular diced tomatoes will work fine too, but fire roasted tomatoes give the dish that “simmered all day” flavor boost!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – This ingredient brightens the whole dish and helps to break down the sugars in the beans.
If you don’t have any on hand, substitute fresh lemon juice for the same effect.
Tips and Tricks for 15 Bean Soup with Ham
- Make It Spicy! The Cajun seasoning packet will already add so much flavor and heat.
If you want to make the soup even spicier, add a tablespoon of chili powder or some red pepper flakes as well. Cayenne pepper is a good option, too!
- Pair It With Cornbread. You’ll love how this spicy ham and bean soup tastes with my Sweet Southern Cornbread. It’s the perfect crusty bread.
- Crockpot Method: Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker, then cook on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 6 hours. No need to soak the beans beforehand!
- Use leftover ham: This hearty soup is the best for using leftover ham shanks, holiday ham, ham steak, smoky ham, and more.
The saltiness of the ham pairs perfectly with all the different kinds of beans.
- Add a smoky flavor: Adding liquid smoke is a great way to add a smoky taste to this bean soup Instant Pot recipe.
It gives a delicious flavor that is hearty and warm.
- Add fresh toppings: Add a bit of fresh parsley on top of your bowl of soup.
Dicing up some yellow onions is also a delicious topping option. And if you want more heat, add some hot sauce!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
This Cajun soup recipe is easy to store, freeze, and reheat! You can keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Leftover bean soup may thicken over time because of the starches in the beans. Simply add a little bit of chicken broth as you reheat it!
I recommend chicken broth instead of water so the soup doesn’t lose any of its amazing flavor.
To freeze, cool the soup to room temperature and store in a freezer-safe container. Use within 3 months and thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, or microwave in 1 minute bursts until hot.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Large Heavy Bottomed Pot – Perfect for cooking any soup!
- Ladle – A must for dishing up soup!
- Slow Cooker – Use if following the crockpot instructions. I love using my slow cooker in the cooler months, but it’s also great in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the whole house with the oven.
15 Bean Soup FAQ
Yes and no. While soaking the beans is an optional step, it really speeds up the cooking time — and reduces gassiness!
If you forget to soak your beans overnight, simply follow the crockpot instructions for 15 bean soup with ham. They’ll come out just as tender and the process is hands-off to boot!
After preparing this Cajun soup recipe, remove one cup of beans and broth from the pot. Puree them in a blender, then stir the mixture back into the soup! You can also simply use a potato masher to mash some of the beans.
Either way, mashed beans is the trick to thickening your soup without adding extra ingredients.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Soup Recipes
15 Bean Soup with Ham
- 20 ounces Hurst HamBeens Cajun 15 Bean Soup mix, plus cajun seasoning packet (See Notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced or sliced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked ham, cubed or shredded, (See Notes)
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, See Notes
- 14.5 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice (See Notes)
- Remove the cajun seasoning packet from the beans package and set it aside. Add the beans to a large bowl, and cover with water. Soak beans for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- When you’re ready to make the soup, drain the beans and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil.
- Saute the onions, carrots, and celery for 6-8 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, or until fragrant.
- Add the chicken broth, leftover ham, black pepper, drained beans, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, soy sauce, cajun seasoning packet (if using), and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring the soup to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 1 ½ hours, or until the beans are soft. About 10 minutes before the beans are finished cooking, stir in apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. *See Notes
- Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the soup before serving.
- Soak the beans overnight, per the instructions above. When you’re ready to make the soup, add all of the ingredients into your crockpot. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours, or on High for 6 hours.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2022, updated and republished November 2023
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