Easy ham and bean soup is perfect for using up leftover ham. It is warm, hearty, and full of savory flavors!
Use up all the ham!!
We normally serve ham at family holiday parties such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I try to calculate exactly how much will be needed, but I tend to always have leftovers.
That’s OK because I have so many delicious ham recipes to use leftover ham, such as this Ham and Bean Soup, which happens to be a favorite!
This soup really is easy to throw together, and uses ingredients I typically have on hand anyway. Ham and bean soup is simple, delicious, hearty, and packed with flavor. It also freezes really well making it perfect for saving for later or sharing!
If you are looking for a creamier soup I have a great version you can try—our Creamy Ham and Bean Soup!
how to make ham and bean soup
SAUTE. Use butter to sauté the carrots and celery in a large sauce pan until tender.
COMBINE. Add onion, beans, broth, ham, garlic, pepper, garlic salt and bay leaf to the pot. Add in the sautéed carrots and celery.
SIMMER + SERVE. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Broth: The ingredients call for low sodium chicken broth. This is because ham tends to already be quite salty and you don’t want to have an overly salty soup.
Beans: Use other beans such as navy beans or white kidney beans.
Thicken this version in a couple of different ways:
- Take ½-1 cup of beans out of the soup and put it in a separate bowl. Then, mash them up using a fork or potato masher. Return them to the soup and stir. Repeat if desired.
- In a separate bowl add 1 tbsp of cold water and 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Stir until smooth. Mix it in the soup.
To make your own ham broth and substitute it for the chicken broth in the recipe:
- Place the ham bone completer with any ham meat on it into a large cooking pot, Add water so that it covers the ham bone half way. (This will be about 8 cups of water.)
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for about and hour.
- Remove the bone and pour the broth through a strainer to remove and pisces of ham and fat.
- Use right away or store it in a container in the fridge or freezer.
Leftovers are Just as Good – Even Frozen!
Turn this ham and bean soup recipe into a crock pot meal all you have to do is complete steps 1-3 and add all the ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
Make this recipe a freeze meal. Complete step 1-3, but then place it into Place your soup into airtight containers or freeze bags, then freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw the soup in the fridge, then warm over low heat on the stove.
Whether you want to make the soup ahead of time or store it for a later date, you can keep it in the fridge or freezer. Allow the soup to cool before storing.
STORE the ham and bean soup into an airtight storage container. Keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
FREEZE in a freezer safe storage container. Make sure you leave 2 inches of space to allow for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat, thaw and reheat on the stove top or in a crock pot.
For More Soups check out:
- Turkey Noodle Soup
- Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
- Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Meatball Soup
Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
- 2 medium carrots sliced into coins
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ tbsp onion minced
- 4 (15.5 oz) cans great northern beans rinsed and drained
- 4 c chicken broth low sodium
- 2 c cooked cubed ham
- ½ tsp garlic minced
- ¼ tsp pepper
- garlic salt to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- Use butter to sauté the carrots and celery in a large sauce pan until tender.
- Add onion, beans, broth, ham, garlic, pepper, garlic salt and bay leaf to the pot.
- Add in the sautéed carrots and celery.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.