Sunday Supper {Missing Bean Soup}

Okay, this Sunday Supper was supposed to be a Saturday night snow day soup during our early January ice storm BUT I didn’t read the directions to know you had to soak beans before using them.  Sooo…. that made this a true Sunday Supper!

Speaking of the beans, I could only find a 15 bean soup mix.  Y’all, that drove me batty!  Of course Ina has a 16 bean soup mix at her disposal.  I mean, what bean was I missing?!  So many questions.  I talked about it so much that my family renamed this Missing Bean Soup rather than 16 Bean Soup.

Missing Bean Soup
Adapted from Ina Garten’s 16 Bean Soup Recipe

1 (1-pound) bag Goya 16 Bean Soup Mix (I could only find 15 bean)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, ¼” diced (I used bacon)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 – 6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1 cup dry red wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup miniature pasta , such as ditalini
½ cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Julienned fresh basil leaves, for serving

  1. The day before you plan to make the soup, place the bean mix in a large bowl, and add water to cover by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain the beans, rinse under cold running water, drain again. Place the beans in a large pot with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that rises to the top. The beans should be very tender and the skin will peel away when you blow on the bean.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium (10-inch) stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and onion and sauté over medium to medium-high heat for 12 to 18 minutes, until browned. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for one minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, 4 cups of the chicken stock, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and turn off the heat.
  3. Drain the beans and add two-thirds of them to the soup. Pass the remaining beans through a food mill, discarding the skins. (I just put them all in the soup) Stir the bean puree and the pasta into the soup, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender. Add up to 2 more cups of chicken stock if the soup is too thick. Stir in the Parmesan and the vinegar. Ladle the soup into large shallow bowls and sprinkle of Parmesan and some basil. Serve with extra Parmesan on the side.

A few notes:

  • Okay, so you can tell that this recipe is pretty involved.  The good news is that it made lots of leftovers and froze well.
  • One of my Insta friends said she made a gluten free version of this without the pasta and that it was just as good.
  • Start out with a HUGE pot. I mean HUGE.  I had to transfer mine to two pots half way through which was annoying and a big mess.

All that being said, would I make it again?  YOU BET!  I’ve said many times that I hope I come back as Jeffrey in my next life.  He gets all the good food, right?!  This recipe is in the Cooking for Jeffrey cookbook that I got for Christmas.  I LOVE all of my Ina cookbooks, but Foolproof remains my very favorite to date.  I’ve made 2/3 of the recipes in that book and have never messed one up!

Happy SUPER BOWL Sunday, y’all!!

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7 thoughts on “Sunday Supper {Missing Bean Soup}

  1. I make bean soup quite often – and I’ve only ever seen 15 bean soup mix (like, for the past 20 years). I wonder which bean is the game changer?

    This version sounds delicious!

  2. I finally found bags of 16 bean soup mix at Wegmans and might have giggled while place four bags in my cart! I am sure I looked crazy to all of those around me ;)

  3. If you google the Goya 16 Bean and compare it to the Hurst’s 15 Bean, it looks like the “missing bean” is pearl barley!

    16 Bean: Pinto Beans, Small Red Beans, Pink Beans, Red Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans, Baby Lima Beans, Large Lima Beans, Blackeye Peas, Small White Beans, Black Beans, Whole Green Peas, Yellow Split Peas, Green Split Peas, Lentils, Chick Peas, Pearl Barley

    15 Bean: Northern, Pinto, Large Lima, Yelloweye Bean, Garbanzo, Baby Lima, Green Split Pea, Kidney, Cranberry Bean, Small White, Pink Bean, Small Red, Yellow Split Pea, Lentil, Navy, White Kidney, Black Bean

  4. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. Looks yummy!

    Also, In case it helps anyone else, I just learned about the “quick soak” method as an alternative to soaking them overnight. Put the beans in a pot and add enough water to cover them plus about 3 inches above. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let it sit for an hour. Afterwards drain the pot and cook the beans in the recipe.

  5. I’ve done the exact same thing and didn’t realize you had to soak the beans overnight. But I’ve actually learned that I really like using dried beans in soups better than canned because they hold up a little better – not as mushy in things like soup where you cook them longer. Plus, they are lower in sodium than canned beans. I have a similar white bean soup that I make, and a chili where I use dried beans. So I’ve learned that the easiest thing is to soak them in my crock pot over night – don’t turn it on though. Then in the morning all I have to do is plug the crock pot in and cook them on low – sometimes I have to add a little water just depending on how much they’ve soaked up over night. By the time I’m ready to assemble to soup for supper they are perfectly cooked!

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