9-Bean Soup

Varieties of beans
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  • Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

Nine different types of dried beans, plus barley, are combined to prepare this comfort-food soup that will warm the body and the soul. 

This is perfect for a crowd, potluck, church supper, or tailgate event when you double, triple, or even quadruple the proportions.

If you prefer certain beans over others, omit the ones you don't like and replace them with your favorites.

To make this a complete meal, add hot crusty bread and a leafy, green side salad.


  • 4 ounces dried navy beans
  • 4 ounces dried white lima beans
  • 4 ounces dried black beans
  • 4 ounces dried small kidney beans
  • 4 ounces ​​dried lentils
  • 4 ounces dried pinto beans
  • 4 ounces ​dried garbanzo beans
  • 2 ounces dried green split peas
  • 2 ounces dried pigeon peas
  • 4 ounces pearl ​barley
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 turkey leg or ham bone and scraps
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed  sage
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup small pasta (such as ditalini)

Steps to Make It

  1. Soak navy beans, white lima beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, green split peas, pigeon peas, and barley in a large pot with water to cover overnight. 

  2. When ready to cook, drain the beans and barley well. Place them in a large stockpot along with 2 quarts of fresh water and turkey leg or ham bone and scraps.

  3. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.

  4. Add tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, chili powder, thyme, and sage. Simmer an additional 30 minutes. Stir in optional salt and pasta. Cook an additional 15 minutes until pasta is done and beans are tender.

  5. If the soup is too thick, add broth or additional water. If using turkey leg or ham bone, remove from the pot, de-bone the meat, chop, and return to the soup. This freezes well.

Turn This Into a Bean Soup Gift in a Jar

Gifts in a jar are all the rage and this recipe lends itself to the trend. If you are giving the mix as a gift, be sure to include the recipe instructions. Quadruple the bean, peas, and barley proportions to make enough for 9 (1-pint) gift jars each of which will make enough soup for 8 people. 

  • Pour​ dried navy beans, lima beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, split peas, pigeon peas, and barley into a very large bowl. Stir to combine.

  • Line up 9 (1-pint) canning jars. Divide beans evenly among the containers, stirring the bowl often to keep beans well-distributed as you fill the jars. Seal containers tightly with lids and screw-on bands.

  • Attach the recipe instructions starting with "2 quarts water" printed on a card and tied on with a pretty ribbon or raffia.