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Szechuan 16 Bean and Ham Soup Recipe

Legumes are so inexpensive and full of goodness that occasionally, you should just make them! This recipe contains 16 kinds of beans and legumes, all of which have great nutritional value such as - protein, fiber, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, a bunch of B vitamins and more!

One cup of this soup a day will do you well, especially if you don't take a daily vitamin. In addition, adding anything to this soup is a bonus, such as washed and chopped greens like spinach, kale, collard and mustard greens, Swiss chard etc. In this instance, we are adding some chopped fresh herbs and leftover ham from the holidays and a little kick of dried, red hot chili peppers, which are optional.

Experiment with your soups - you will be surprised what you can conjure up along with all those spices and herbs you have going to waste in your pantry. Make soup - get cozy!


1 package 16/17 bean soup mix
Water and a large pot
Olive or vegetable oil for sautéing
1 large ham bone (smoked ham/turkey legs or hocks)
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 large sweet onions, roughly chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh mixed herbs, chopped (oregano, rosemary, thyme)
1 cup chopped leftover or deli ham (optional)
4 Red hot chili peppers (optional)


1. Start by following the package directions for soaking the beans. I always use the quick soak method and this works well for me. Drain the soaking water, rinse the beans after the recommended soaking time, and set aside until needed.

2. In a large, deep soup pot, heat some oil over a medium heat. Add the ham bone or hock along with the onions and garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the beans and mix well. Add the herbs, tomato sauce, chilies and chopped tomatoes. Stir together well and bring all to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Carefully remove the lid and taste. Adjust the seasoning as you like with kosher salt and ground black pepper and ham. Cook for 10 minutes more.

Serve this soup piping hot with fresh, crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth!

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