This recipe for Ham and Bean Soup is hearty and full of flavor. It is perfect for enjoying on a cold winter day or any time. Consider making this delicious soup for dinner the next time you have leftover ham!
Easy Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
We are a leftover loving family, and this is especially true after holiday dinners. However, sandwiches made from leftover Christmas ham can get a little boring after day 2 or 3. That’s where this ham soup with beans recipe comes in handy! I can turn extra ham into a filling and tasty meal that everyone will love! The soft beans and veggies take on so much flavor from the broth. You will not be disappointed with this soup.
Even though it takes a couple of hours to simmer and cook, prep couldn’t be easier! Besides chopping some veggies, all you have to do is add the ingredients to the pot and let your stovetop or slow cooker do all the work. Did I mention that it smells amazing while it’s cooking? I often make trips to the kitchen just to take in that wonderful aroma! The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready.
What You’ll Need
There are not a lot of ingredients to make this yummy bean and ham soup. As long as you have some leftover ham and some beans, you are good to go.
- Dried Great Northern Beans: These beans will be soaked overnight if you are using the traditional method.
- Ham Bone
- Diced Ham: Leftover or fresh baked ham both work great.
- Onions: I use a yellow onion in this recipe.
- Carrots & Celery
- Garlic: I use fresh cloves, but you can also purchase a jar of minced garlic.
- Chicken Broth: I like to use chicken broth or chicken stock, but vegetable broth may also be used.
- Bay Leaves & Dried Thyme
- Salt and Pepper: The amount used will be to your flavor preference.
- Fresh Parsley: Chopped and used as an optional garnish.
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup
Making ham soup with beans is easier than ever with these step-by-step instructions. We even help you prepare and soak the beans!
- Prepare the Beans. Rinse the beans under cold water and make sure they are nice and clean. Put them in a large pot and cover them with enough water to submerge them, plus 2 inches.
- Soak the Beans. You can either soak the beans overnight or quickly soak them by bringing the water to a boil, removing them from the heat, and letting them sit in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain the beans and set them aside after soaking.
- Cook the Vegetables. Drizzle olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until tender.
- Add Remaining Ingredients. Pour the beans back into the pot and add the ham bone, diced ham, broth, bay leaves, and dried thyme.
- Bring to a Boil. Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat.
- Simmer. Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Remove the Ham Bone. Take the ham bone out of the pot and remove any remaining ham. Add the ham to the pot and discard the bone.
- Season. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Garnish and Serve. Portion the ham and bean soup into bowls alongside cornbread and garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Depending on the desired number of servings, this recipe is easy to adjust. Double it, halve it, or whatever you may need!
- The ham bone can be easily swapped with ham hocks, ham shanks, or extra diced ham for flavor.
- Great Northern Beans are traditionally used but you can substitute just about any white bean you have in the pantry like, a navy bean, pinto beans or cannellini beans.
- The longer the soup sits, the thicker it gets. You may need to add a little water or broth when reheating leftovers.
- This ham and bean soup is best reheated on the stovetop over medium heat. I do not recommend the microwave to preserve the texture.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
More Soup Recipes
- Reuben Soup
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Chicken Barley Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Chili Lime Chicken Soup
Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 pound dried Great Northern beans
- 1 ham bone leftover from a cooked ham
- 2 cups leftover ham diced
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley chopped (for garnish)
- Rinse the dried great northern beans under cold water and pick out any debris. Place the beans in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Let them soak overnight, or use the quick soak method by bringing them to a boil, removing from heat, and letting them sit for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the soaked beans, ham bone, diced ham, chicken or vegetable broth, bay leaves, and dried thyme to the pot. Stir well to combine.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hours, or until the beans are tender and the flavors have melded together.
- Remove the ham bone from the pot and discard. Using a fork, remove any remaining meat from the bone and return it to the soup. Discard the bone.
- Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the hot ham and bean soup in bowls, garnished with freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Last Step:Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business to thrive and continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.
- This recipe can be easily doubled or halved depending on the desired serving size.
- If you don’t have a ham bone, you can substitute with smoked ham hocks or use additional diced ham for flavor.
- Leftover ham from a cooked ham works perfectly in this recipe, but you can also use freshly cooked ham if desired.
- The soup will thicken as it sits, so you may need to add a little more broth or water when reheating leftovers.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, simply warm the soup on the stovetop over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.