Emily’s Bean Soup

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + standing Cook: 3 hours


22 servings (about 5-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Sep. 25, 2022
This is a wonderful fall or winter meal, served with thick slices of warm homemade bread. The recipe evolved over the years as I added to it. I often double it and freeze what we don't eat. That way, I can throw some in a pot for a quick meal or if unexpected guests drop by. —Emily Chaney, Penobscot, Maine
Emily's Bean Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/2 cup each dried great northern beans, kidney beans, navy beans, lima beans, butter beans, split green or yellow peas, pinto beans and lentils
  • Water
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes with liquid, quartered
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Wash all beans thoroughly; drain and place in a large saucepan. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place ham bone and 3 qts. of water in a stockpot. Simmer until beans have stood for 1 hour.
  3. Drain beans and add to the ham stock; add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until beans are tender. Cut meat from ham bone; discard bone. Add additional water to soup if desired.

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