Hearty Bean Soup (Topped with Garlic Cheese Toast!)
Slow cooked with 13 types of beans and topped with a slice of garlic cheese toast, this bean soup recipe makes a filling bowl of healthy and comfort. I partnered with Bobs Red Mill to create this recipe, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Beans! They’re hearty. They’re meaty. They make my tummy happy.
This bean soup recipe is wholesome enough for a weeknight but special enough to share with friends. The smoked paprika and optional sausage in the soup (and, more importantly, the Garlicky Cheese Toast!) make this soup hearty and flavorful. It’s sure to be a hit with anyone you decide to share with.
What Beans are Used?
What makes this bean soup wholesome? There are a huge variety of beans in it. I’ve used this 13 Bean Mix, but you may find another mix at your store that you prefer, or you can make your own. The one I’ve used here contains dry navy, black, red, pinto, garbanzo, great northern, kidney, baby lima and large lima beans; black-eyed, yellow split and green split peas; and brown and red lentils. Wow!
You’ll need two cups of dry beans for this recipe so feel free to mix and match. There doesn’t need to be thirteen different kinds, but I encourage you to use as many as you can because it really makes it hearty and special.
How to Soak Dry Beans
The easiest way to soak dry beans is to combine them with 3-4 times their volume of water and leave them out over night. I never remember to do that. People claim that you can instead cover them with all that water, bring them to a boil, remove them from the heat, cover and leave them for an hour. When I do this the cooking times in recipes don’t match up to my reality.
I instead bring the beans to a boil but then let them sit for at least 2 hours and even 3 hours if there’s time. However you cook your beans, don’t be discouraged if the specified cooking times still don’t work out for you. Cooking beans depends on their soaking but also on how old the beans are and sometimes on the ingredients you’ve combined with them (acids and salt for instance can slow the cooking time in some situations). Just start early enough in the day so that you can let them simmer until they’re how you like them.
Making Garlic Cheese Toast
This cheesy toast that tops the soup really takes things to the next level, so don’t skip it.
First, you’ll combine shredded cheese with some bell pepper, parlsey, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Then toast the bread.
Fill oven-safe bowls about 3/4 full of soup. Top each one with a slice of toast and 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Transfer the bowls to a large baking sheet and put the baking sheet full of bowls under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling and just beginning to brown.
Oh, and for a 15-minute quick bean soup recipe, be sure to also check out my bean and bacon soup.
Slow cooked with a 13-bean mix and topped with a slice of garlic cheese toast, this bean soup recipe makes a filling bowl of healthy and comfort.
- 2 cups of 13 Bean Soup Mix, soaked (see soaking instructions above in post)
- ½ of a medium onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped, divided
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 2 carrots, diced
- 48 oz. of low-sodium chicken stock
- 14.5 oz. can of petite cut tomatoes with the juice
- ½ lb. fully-cooked smoked sausage, like kielbassa, finely diced (optional)
- 1 and 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp. of chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 8–10 slices of multigrain bread
- In large pot, combine the soaked beans, onion, three-quarters of the red pepper, the smoked paprika, thyme, carrots, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer until the beans are beginning to tenderize, about 30-45 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, 1 teaspoon and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Return pot to a simmer and cook until beans have reached the desired level of tenderness. For me, that’s another 45 more minutes.
- Add the sausage, if using, and cook until it’s warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine the mozzarella with the remaining bell pepper, parsley, garlic, and olive oil.
- Toast the bread slices.
- When the soup is ready, preheat your broiler.
- Ladle the hot soup into oven-safe bowls. Top each bowl of soup with a slice of toast and 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Transfer the bowls to a large baking sheet (this makes it easier to carry them and easier to get them out from under the broiler ). Put the baking sheet full of bowls under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling and just beginning to brown.
- Remove pan of soup bowls from oven and serve.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. I was compensated for creating the recipe and writing the post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This post originally appeared in October 2012 and was revised and republished in October 2020.