9-Bean Soup

9-Bean Soup in white bowls

The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Soak Time: 12 hrs
Total: 14 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
850 Calories
5g Fat
154g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 850
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 166mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 154g 56%
Dietary Fiber 37g 134%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 52g
Vitamin C 19mg 97%
Calcium 246mg 19%
Iron 14mg 77%
Potassium 2878mg 61%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This healthy and hearty soup, combining nine different types of dried beans with barley, is pure comfort food that will warm the body and the soul. The recipe calls for navy, lima, black, kidney, lentils, pinto, garbanzo, split peas, and pigeon peas, but if you prefer certain beans over others, omit the ones you don't like and replace them with your favorites. Just make sure the total weight is the same as what's specified in this recipe.

You'll need to plan ahead a little bit to soak the dried beans in a large bowl, uncovered, overnight, and then rinse and discard the soaking water. It's possible to make this with canned beans, but it is much more economical to weigh out just what you need for this soup straight from the bag, rather than open up a whole bunch of cans and then have to deal with lots of leftovers.

This recipe is easily increased and perfect for a crowd, potluck, church supper, or tailgate event. To make this a complete meal, add hot crusty bread and a leafy green side salad.


  • 1/2 pound dried navy beans

  • 1/2 pound dried white lima beans

  • 1/2 pound dried black beans

  • 1/2 pound dried small kidney beans

  • 1/2 pound ​​dried lentils

  • 1/2 pound dried pinto beans

  • 1/2 pounddried garbanzo beans

  • 1/4 pound dried green split peas

  • 1/4 pound dried pigeon peas

  • 1/2 pound pearl barley

  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 ham bone or ham hock

  • 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

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, optional

  • 1/4 cup small pasta, such as ditalini

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for 9-bean soup

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

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

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

    Bean and ham bone in water prepared to be cooked

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

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

    Boil the beans and ham bone and skim off foam

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  4. Add tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, chili powder, thyme, and sage. Simmer an additional 30 minutes.

    Tomatoes, onions, spices added on top of the bean and ham in a pot

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  5. Stir in the salt and pasta. Cook an additional 15 minutes until the pasta is done and the beans are tender.

    Stir salt and pasta into the 9-bean soup

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  6. If the soup is too thick, add additional water. Remove the ham, de-bone the meat, chop, and return to the soup.

    Ham pieces on top of the bean soup in a pot

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham


You can give the ingredients for this bean soup in jars. Just attach the recipe on a card.

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. 

Stir all the beans and barley together in a large bowl and then divide evenly among 9 jars.

Seal the containers tightly with lids and screw-on bands.

Print or write out the recipe instructions, beginning the ingredient list with "2 quarts water." Attach to the jar with a pretty ribbon or raffia.

How to Store and Freeze 9-Bean Soup

Soup is often better a day or two later, and this will keep for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge.

Feel free to freeze leftovers in 2- to 4-cup increments, or whatever makes the most sense for your needs. The soup will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.

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