Seven-bean soup

Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 12:56 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When the Spanish arrived in New Orleans in 1765, they brought new and interesting beans to the area. Kidney, pinto and black beans were the favorites of the Spanish. Black-eyed peas were later introduced by the Africans. In this soup, the mixture of beans from different cultures demonstrates the Creole practice of blending ingredients to create unique cuisine.

Prep Time: 2½ Hours

Yields: 6–8 Servings


¼ cup dried navy beans

¼ cup dried red kidney beans

¼ cup dried lima beans

¼ cup dried pinto beans

½ cup dried black beans

¼ cup dried black-eyed peas

½ cup dried split peas

½ cup bacon fat

2 cups diced onions

½ cup diced celery

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper

¼ cup diced green bell pepper

¼ cup sliced garlic

1 ham hock

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

4 quarts chicken stock

3 bay leaves

1 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup (¼-inch) sliced andouille sausage

1 cup diced ham

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste


Rinse dried beans and peas twice, discarding any that are discolored or float to surface. Soak beans and peas in cold water a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight. NOTE: Soak black beans separately. This process will cut the cooking time by one-third. Discard soaking liquid, rinse beans and peas then set aside. In a large stockpot, heat bacon fat over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, celery, bell peppers and sliced garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add ham hock and continue to sauté 2–3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, beans and peas. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and season with bay leaves, thyme, oregano and cayenne pepper. Cover pot and simmer approximately 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. As beans become soft, mash a portion of them against side of pot with a cooking spoon. This will thicken soup and create a creamy consistency. Add more stock as needed to retain volume during cooking process. Stir in andouille sausage and diced ham. Season to taste using salt, black pepper and granulated garlic. Simmer an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with Mexican cornbread.

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