Ham and Bean Soup is an easy and hearty recipe that is perfect for the cold weather! Not only is it delicious, but it is also nutritious with its protein and fiber content!
With the fall season in full swing, soup and stew recipes are on the family menu! It just feels so comforting to be sipping a warm bowl of soup in this weather. For more hearty dishes, check out this tomato soup, sweet potato soup, and the best cabbage soup! Try them all out as they are all so delicious!
Leftover ham and white bean soup
Ham and Bean Soup recipe is always on the menu once the cold weather hits. It is also the perfect dinner for the whole family to enjoy and a great way to incorporate leftover ham from Christmas dinner!
This comforting leftover ham soup is amazingly delicious and a super easy recipe to make. Also, it is loaded with savory flavors and veggies, with a rich and thick base to it. It is nice to have these two main proteins combined in one dish as they are both flavorful and add great texture.
I enjoy this dish with cornbread or some biscuits to sop it with. And it just gives me that cozy and warm feeling! I grew up with this dish being served at home and I feel nostalgic just by smelling this as it cooks in the kitchen.
Nothing beats this dish as a meal served after Thanksgiving or Christmas. It has all the elements that I look for in a dish – simple, nutritious, and comforting.
- Ham: You can use a leftover holiday ham bone, ham hocks, ham shanks, or any cooked ham found in the local grocery store.
- Olive oil: To saute the veggies
- Yellow onion and fresh garlic: Both of these ingredients add plenty of flavors. So, do not skip them.
- Seasoning: Such as dried parsley, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and black pepper. Also, feel free to add your favorite seasonings. Some great additions would be dried thyme, Italian seasoning, onion powder, or garlic powder.
- Fresh veggies: A few carrots, and celery.
- Beans: I love using white cannellini beans. However, you could go with any type of white beans, great northern beans, navy beans, or even dry beans..
- Chicken stock: To make the base.
- Half and half: This makes it creamy and hearty. Alternatively, you could use cream or whole milk.
- Butter and all-purpose flour: To make the roux.
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup?
- Sauté: First, sauté the aromatics and cubed ham in olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Then, sauté the vegetables as well.
- Boil: Next, add the chicken broth and the rest of the ingredients except for the garnish. Let it cook on low heat, and simmer until it thickens. Check the taste and season accordingly.
- Serve: Garnish and serve while still hot.
Best beans to use for this soup?
The best ones would be cannellini beans or white kidney beans. They are the most common type used to make this navy bean soup.
How do you thicken ham and bean soup?
You can perform any of these steps:
- You can mash some of the beans to thicken them. Or, put the water that comes with them in the can.
- Add a slurry made by mixing water and cornstarch towards the end of the cooking if you must.
- Also, let it simmer without the lid on to evaporate some of the liquid.
Can I use leftover ham to make it?
Sure! Use leftover baked ham or ham bone in this dish. Using leftover ham bone will simply add another step.
When the dish has simmered enough and the meat becomes so tender that it falls off the bone, take it out of the pot. Then, separate the meat from the bone with a fork and put it back in the soup.
With this additional step, using the cubed ham is way quicker.
Slow cooker version:
Ham and bean soup is just one of those comfort foods that will fill your soul in every bite.
During the busy holiday season, I love making it in the crock pot. You will only need a few minutes of prep time, and then simply dump the ingredients together. The slow cooker will do the rest, and the beans do not require soaking!
Follow this recipe, and learn how to make the Best Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup.
How long is this soup good for?
It should be consumed within 5 days from the day it was first served. On the third day, you can freeze it to extend its shelf life.
Put it in a freezer bag and squeeze out the air. Then, seal it properly and freeze it.
Can you freeze Ham and Bean Soup?
Absolutely! Here are the steps:
- First, let it cool at room temperature.
- Then, transfer leftover soup into quart bags, and squeeze out excess air, and seal.
- Next, freeze the bags for up to 3 or 4 months.
- To reheat, thaw first overnight and then, heat in a pot on the stove or use the crockpot.
More hearty soup recipes:
Ham and Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups cubed ham
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups carrots (diced)
- 2 cups celery (diced)
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) white cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken broth (more if needed)
- 2 cup half and half
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half and half
- Place a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Next, add olive oil, once hot add the cubed ham and brown for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the diced onion, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, dried parsley, and oregano. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add carrots and celery, stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add rinsed beans, season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth, half and half, and bay leaves. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
- Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt. Whisk in the flour until completely combined and gradually add in the half and half, whish until smooth.
- With the heat on low, let the mixture cook until it starts to simmer and is getting thicker, stir occasionally.
- Immediately add the flour mixture to the pot and stir to combine.
- If the soup is too thick, add more chicken broth. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Cover and continue cooking the soup on low heat for 15 minutes. If you added more liquid, make sure to let the soup simmer for a few minutes. Discard bay leaves.
- To make the soup thicker, mash some of the ingredients.
- Serve topped with chopped parsley.