This 15 bean soup with chicken has a little Southwestern flair. And, it’s a creamy one-pot dinner that is packed with protein.
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Why Cook A 15 Bean Soup
When I started cooking 15 bean soups, I thought it was just me being a little overly-bean obsessed. Of course, we do occasionally eat meals without beans. We are not on a strict all-bean diet after all. We are just looking for ways to increase our intake of protein, and most importantly fiber.
We love all sorts of beans and lentils, which is why we are happy to share all of our favorite bean recipes. A 15 bean soup, though, really takes things up a notch. We’ve made a Cajun 15 bean soup in an Instant Pot, but there is something about preparing a soup stovetop that I simply love.
This is a pretty easy recipe to prepare. Even on the stovetop, it can be made in one pot. Even with a bit of tender, shredded, chicken, it’s loaded with beans and lentils, which are super healthy. And, the beans are super filling. The seasoning also leans a little Southwestern, which makes this a perfect soup, stew, or even shredded chicken chili – all loaded with beans.
Check out our recipe for Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup With White Beans.
What Is A 15 Bean Soup Kit
There are a few different brands that make a “15 bean” soup kit. Goya makes a version with 16 beans and Bob’s Red Mill does a version with 13 beans. I’ve been using Hurst’s Hambeen 15 bean soup kit. It doesn’t really make a difference which one you use.
The beans included in one of these kits often include navy beans, lima beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, green split peas, kidney beans, and more. Some also include lentils.
If you want to try a ton of different types of beans, this is your way to do it. The smaller beans and lentils also start to disintegrate while cooking, which makes the liquid starchy, thick, and delicious.
Although most of the soup kits come with a seasoning packet, I don’t normally use it. I like to control my seasoning a little more. In this case, it’s how I was able to make this 15 bean soup taste a little more Southwestern.
Preparing The Beans
If making a 15 bean soup in an instant pot or slow cooker, you don’t have to soak the beans ahead of time. But, for a stovetop 15 bean soup, it is necessary to soak the beans ahead of time.
If making the recipe on the stovetop, you have to soak the beans overnight, or at least for eight hours. Do a quick inspection of the dry beans in case there is any debris.
Then place the beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let the beans stand for about eight hours or overnight. Then drain the water and rinse the beans with cold water. Be sure to rinse the beans really well.
If you forgot to soak the beans, all is not lost. Rinse the beans in cold water and immediately drain the water. Place the beans in a pot with three inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and let them boil for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pot, cover the pot and let the pot sit for an hour.
This method might not seem “quick” but it is certainly “quicker” than overnight. After an hour, drain and rinse the beans.
Using A Dutch Oven To Cook A 15 Bean Soup
There’s something to be said for a quick instant pot recipe and there is a joy of the set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker, but I still love using a dutch oven.
We use our Le Creuset dutch oven for loads of recipes, particularly on the weekend. It makes me feel a little European having a slow-cooked soup, stew, or sauce on the stovetop. That’s true even when the result is something a little more Southwestern or Tex Mex than European.
Ingredients For A 15 Bean Soup With Chicken
My goal with this recipe was to use the 15 bean soup kit and use it to make something akin to a white chicken chili or stew. I tried to eliminate all the typical dark and tomato-based ingredients that normally go into a stew or chili.
That meant using garlic and shallots cooked in olive oil. It means chicken breasts instead of the typical ground beef. I limited the veggies to some hot peppers, diced chilies, and a simple can of corn.
All of the ingredients are flavored with cumin and chicken broth along with salt and pepper. The soup slow cooks for about an hour. Just before it’s finished, a spritz of fresh-squeezed lime juice adds a bit of acidity and freshness to the soup. To make it super creamy, a bit of low-fat greek yogurt is the perfect addition just before serving.
How To Make A 15 Bean Soup With Chicken
Warm a medium to large-sized dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and warm. Once the olive oil is warm, saute the shallots and garlic.
Run the garlic through a garlic press or mince it finely. Try the Zulay stainless steel press, which is easy to use. There’s no need to even peel the garlic ahead of time.
When cutting the shallots, remove the two outer layers, which don’t tend to cook well. If you don’t have shallots easily accessible a small yellow onion would work well too. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until they start to soften.
Cooking The Chicken
Before the shallot and garlic start to brown add the seasoned chicken breast, chili peppers, and cumin. If the chicken breasts are larger, cut them into two or three large pieces. Just remember how many pieces are in the pot so that you can easily find them later.
Cook the breast on both sides to seal in the spices. There is no need to brown the chicken or cook it all the way through. The chicken will slow cook through while the beans cook.
Cooking the 15 Bean Soup With Chicken
After cooking the chicken for 2-3 minutes add the chicken broth and stir to ensure the cumin is blended. Add the beans that soaked overnight and stir. There should be enough chicken broth to cover the beans and chicken. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
Cook on simmer, stirring occasionally for about 90 minutes. Taste one of the larger beans. If it is starting to soften, but is still firm, it’s time for the next step.
Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks. I like to shred the chicken in a shallow bowl rather than on a cutting board in case the liquid runs.
Return the chicken to the pot and stir it into the liquid. If there seems to be a good amount of liquid, don’t worry. When the shredded chicken goes back into the pot, it will soak and soften in the liquid.
Add the drained corn and one-half of the diced chilies to the pot. Add more chicken broth if needed. If you prefer it more stew-like, leave it as is. If you prefer it more soupy, add about a cup of chicken broth.
Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Just before finishing, add the juice of one lime and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add any salt and pepper if needed.
Remove the pot from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt. Serve topped with sour cream, the remaining diced chilies, or shredded cheddar cheese. When reheating leftovers, serve with tortilla chips to make a dip.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 jalapenos or hot peppers, diced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups of dry 15 bean soup mix, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained.
- 1 15 ounce can of corn, drained
- 1 8 ounce can of diced or sliced green chilies, drained
- Juice of one lime
- 2 tablespoons of low-fat greek yogurt
- Warm a medium to large sized dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and warm.
- Once the olive oil is warm, saute the shallots and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until they start to soften.
- Before the shallot and garlic start to brown add the seasoned chicken breast, chili peppers, and cumin. Cook the chickens on both sides to seal in the spices.
- After cooking the chicken for 2-3 minutes add the chicken broth and stir to ensure the cumin is blended.
- Add the beans that soaked overnight and stir. There should be enough chicken broth to cover the beans and chicken.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook on simmer, stirring occasionally for about 90 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks. Return the chicken to the pot and stir it into the liquid.
- Add the drained corn and one-half of the diced chilies to the pot. Add more chicken broth if needed. Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the beans are tender.
- Just before finishing, add the juice of one lime and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add any salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of low-fat greek yogurt.
- Serve topped with sour cream, the remaining diced chilies, or shredded cheddar cheese.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 533Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 51mgSodium 3150mgCarbohydrates 73gFiber 25gSugar 15gProtein 40g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications Or Variations
If you want to add a bit more flavor, before cooking the chicken cook a few pieces of bacon or a bit of pancetta. Put it to the side, cook the chicken. Dice the bacon and add it into the pot when you add the shredded chicken.
Storing And Reheating
Store any leftovers in a storage container for up to 4 days. If you have leftover bread to serve with it the day after, toast up the bread in the oven to make it crispy and drizzle it with a little olive oil to serve with the soup.
It can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat you can use a microwave, but I prefer to slow heat on the stovetop. When removing it from the freezer, add in a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or fresh lime juice to add a little acidity and brightness to the recipe after being in the freezer. Fold in some roughly chopped cilantro to do the same.