15 Bean Soup with Pancetta and Basil is a delicious bean soup loaded with a variety of 15 different dried beans, and simmered with pancetta, onions, garlic, tomatoes and fresh basil into a rich and flavorful soup. Then topped with pecorino cheese shavings to give it a punch more flavor. This is a perfect hearty and filling meal for those meatless nights with a ton of flavor!
Amazingly, you can make this fabulous soup using only one package of 15 Bean Soup mix, a few fresh vegetables, fresh basil, and some vegetable broth. Then simmer the soup low and slow until the beans cook and the broth thickens.
The rich broth along with the beans slowly soak up the rich flavors of the pancetta and fresh basil, creating wonderful aromatic and complex flavors. This 15 Bean Soup turned out so good and so satisfying, you don’t need to serve it with anything else, except maybe some thin crackers or crusty bread.
This soup is not complicated to make. Simply place the beans into a pot with water and allow them soak for about 6 to 8 hours. Once beans are ready, cook the pancetta, onions and garlic together until the pancetta is fully cooked and crispy.
Next, rinse those gorgeous beans.
Then add the beans into the pancetta mixture along with water and vegetable broth and simmer for one hour. After an hour, the tomatoes, chili powder and lots of fresh basil goes in.
Adding fresh basil always enhances the flavor of any broth and adding it to this particular bean soup worked fantastically!
The package of 15 Bean Soup contains a variety of dried beans, peas and lentils and it also has a recipe on the back label, which I modified.
Plus, inside every package comes with a seasoning packet of ham flavoring, but I didn’t use it.
Instead, I flavored my soup with Italian pancetta. It was definitely the one ingredient that made a huge difference in flavor!
Best of all, it comes already chopped, which is a time-saver.
My family noticed the flavor of the pancetta and said it gave this soup the “wow” factor!
That’s not all!
If you follow 2SR then you’ll know I like to toss in 1 Parmesan cheese rind just before the soup finishes simmering. The cheese rind melts into the broth while it thicken slightly and makes it even more tasty and adds more deliciousness!
Here are some tips: Most gourmet stores will sell the Parmesan cheese rinds in their gourmet cheese shops. If you don’t see any, it’s okay to ask someone. Also, it’s best to save your Parmesan rinds in the freezer to use in soups, stews and even sauces for extra flavor; only need to remember to discard the rind before serving. I like to stock my freezer with packages of pancetta too. Keep in mind, if you don’t have pancetta, you can flavor this 15 Bean Soup with ham, ham hocks, or even smoked sausage.
And lastly, this soup freezes perfectly.
15 Bean Soup with Pancetta and Basil
- 1 bag (20 ounce) Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup
- 1 Tbsp. organic olive oil
- 4 ounces chopped pancetta
- 1 large onion- diced
- 1 large garlic clove- minced
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 can (14.5ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
- 1 rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- shavings of pecorino cheese
1. Place beans into a large bowl or pot and add 8 cups of water. Allow beans to soak for 6 to 8 hours.
After soaking, drain and give the beans a quick rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add pancetta, onions and garlic. Cook until the pancetta is fully cooked, occasionally stirring, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the rinsed beans, water and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (with a low boil) covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
4. After 1 hour, add the tomatoes, chili powder, salt and fresh basil and stir to blend into the soup. Toss in one Parmesan rind. Cover and continue to simmer for additional 15 to 20 minutes. The soup should be thick and creamy. Turn off heat. Season with fresh cracked pepper to taste.
5. Discard the Parmesan rind before serving. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley and top with shavings of pecorino cheese. Serve warm.
Serves 12 to 14