Italian Mixed Bean Soup

"This is my standard bean soup recipie that I've been using for a couple of years. It's highly adaptable and makes a pot big enough to feed myself and my bf one meal a day for a whole week. Generally I take it to work for an easy lunch. :) It looks like a lot of work to make but it's actually quite simple. The cooking time includes the 8 hours of soaking for the beans."
photo by Kim127 photo by Kim127
photo by Kim127
Ready In:
10hrs 20mins




  • Pick through the dried beans and discard any shrivled or broken beans. Also watch out for tiny stones. You can use any mix of beans you like but my mix tends to inclue equal parts navy beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans.
  • Put the beans in a large pot and add water enough to cover the beans by a good 3 inches. Cover and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. (alternately you can put the beans in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat, let stand for an hour. It yields a differnt texture but still yummy).
  • Drain beans.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until the onion becomes translucent or about 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrots, saute another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the 8 cups of water, bouillon cubes and beans. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • Add lentils, tomatoes, spinach, ground red pepper, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes more.
  • Both beans and lentils should be soft at this point. If they are not let them simmer longer.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Questions & Replies

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  1. thornleyjoan
    Re the bean soup recipe, what do you mean by ground red pepper? Ground chili powder?


  1. ditmasdeadfinger
    I already made beans from scratch and was trying to figure what to do with them. Found this recipe and it was perfect. Used 2 cups of fresh spinach roughly chopped and added zucchini. Used fresh oregano which I had on hand and some basil paste. Pulled out some beans and broth, used the blender and returned it to the soup to make it even thicker. YUM!!!
  2. Wobin
    This was my first attempt using dried beans. Wow, I let them soak over night and used them for this recipe for an amazing end result. I followed the recipe exacly and it was so good. I tried to invite my husbands friends over for dinner but he said no so he could eat it all himself!
  3. criminy
    Yum! Halved the recipe which made about six portions. Did not use lentils and substituted sliced cabbage. Very happy with the outcome and would definitely make again.
  4. mianbao
    This makes lovely soup. I made two and a half batches, so I'll have a lot of good soup for a pretty long time. I did take some liberties with the recipe - I wanted to use up all the odds and ends of beans in the cupboard, so had a pretty ecletic mix. I used whole mung beans and split yellowish colored some kind of lentils I think, in place of the lentils. I only used one carrot, but put in a bunch of parsley. I added some tomato paste in place of some of the canned tomatoes. I had to cook this quite a while before my pretty elderly beans became tender. I did use a Japanese green leafy vegetable similar to spinach (komatsu na), because I prefer it. Anyway, I now have a huge pot of delicious soup, which I will portion out and freeze for later enjoyment. Thank you very much for this recipe. However, I would like to add that it doesn't seem to mention cooking the beans anywhere. I think that might be something nice to add.
  5. rsnelling42
    I added some ham hocks and ham, and eliminated the spinach. This soup was terrific and was even better as leftovers. This is a fantastic recipe for those cold winter days.


  1. jessica.cyrell
    I make this soup fairly often but I add a Parmesan rind when I add the stock/bouillon (before simmering for an hour and 40 mins). I keep parmesan blocks in the fridge and save the rinds for this purpose! Take out the rind before serving ;) a Adds a really yummy complex umami flavor to the final product!
  2. fleesa5000
    Added 1 cup of uncooked Ditalini pasta and 1/2 lb of grilled Italian sausage (spicy) along with the herbs, tomatoes (fire roasted with garlic) and fresh spinach during the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  3. Judy B.
    We loved this! It was too spicy for us, though, so next time I would reduce the red pepper and possibly eliminate the black pepper.
  4. Jackie D.
    I added cabbage , garbanzo beans and pasta.



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