Ham and Bean Soup is such a classic winter dish, and for good reason – it’s DELICIOUS. Even better, it’s simple to throw together, and actually super healthy. All you have to do is throw everything into a pot, let it simmer, and watch the magic happen.
We are ALL about soups, so be sure to check out our easy Beef Barley Soup that’s super hearty, Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup, this Crockpot Taco Soup, and this Cheesy Version of Taco Soup.
Ham and Bean Soup
It’s happening. There’s a chill in the air, I need slippers when I’m walking around the house, and all I want to eat is a big bowl of piping hot soup. Normally I’d go for Broccoli Cheddar or some version Chicken Noodle, but lately I have been ALL about Ham and Bean Soup. I love that it’s a little bit more healthy and hearty than any of my usual go-tos.
It’s packed with veggies, tender meat from a smoky ham hock, and of course, plenty of white beans. While I love all the good stuff inside the soup, what I really crave is that salty, flavorful broth. I could literally drink it with a straw.
What I love most about this recipe, is it’s basically a dump-it-and-forget kind of meal, which are the best kinds of meals on busy week nights.
- Veggies:Onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. You could really add whatever veggies you want! Green beans would also be delicious.
- Aromatics/Spices: Plenty of garlic as mentioned, a bay leaf, and some dried thyme. A little bit of parsley at the end.
- White Beans:Not only do white beans add fiber and protein, but they also help to thicken the sauce, plus add a little creaminess.
- Chicken stock: If you can, use a low-sodium chicken stock or broth. You want to be able to control the amount of salt that goes into the soup.
- Ham Hock: This is the most essential ingredient! When you let the ham hock, slowly cook in the soup, the saltiness and smokiness infused the soup. It’s what gives ham and bean soup, it’s classic smoky flavor, and I ADORE it. My ham hock had plenty of meat to shred off and add to the soup, but if the meat on yours looks a little sparse, I would pick up a few slices of smoked ham from the grocery store.
How to make Ham and Bean Soup
- Sweat vegetables in a little bit of olive oil until slightly softened, about three minutes.
- Add bay leaves, thyme and salt.
- Pour in chicken stock.
- Drain and rinse white beans. Smash half of them with a fork and add to the soup.
- Add hammocks to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook until meat is easily coming off of the ham hocks, and the soup is infused with smokiness, about 1 hour.
Can this be made in advance?
Yes! Make from starch to finish, cool and store in an airtight container for up to five days. You can also add the soup to a freezer ziplock bag, lay flay on a baking sheet, and freeze. It will keep for up to three months.
What to serve with Ham and Bean Soup?
- This classic cornbreadwould be the perfect sweet side dish.
- Miracle No-Knead breadwould be the perfect vessel to dunk into the soup.
- This Bacon Pear Gorgonzola Salad is perfect for fall and definitely the perfect dish to go with soup.
Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cup diced carrot
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 32 oz low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 28 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 lbs ham hock
- Heat a large stock pot to a medium heat. Add butter. Once the butter melts, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salty. Sweat veggies until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour, cook 1 minutes.
- Add half of beans to a bowl. Use a fork to smash the beans. Add beans, bay leaves, thyme, remaining salt, and chicken stock, and ham hocks to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 mintues or until ham hock meat is easily taken off of the bone.
- Remove the ham hock from the soup and shred meat from bone. Add back to the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Excellent, great meal on a cold day. We added some cooked rice, very good.
Can this be made with something other than the chicken stock? Do you have any suggestions?
Any flavoring of stock will work or even water. It may not have the most flavoring with water but that it a liquid that will help.
I sometimes add a can or two of Italian-style crushed (or stewed, tomatoes crushed up) to the broth for bean soup. That adds some liquid and adds flavor without making it too “tomatoey” but you will lose a lot of flavor if you don’t use any boullion! If you prefer, the Vegetable to Meat Boullion (I use Better Than Boullion) It iis very good for adding flavor as well.
Can I use a ham shank? We love meat.
Yes, that will be great!
Can thus be made in a crockpot?
Yes! It is delicious too! Just mix all of the ingredients and enjoy it cooking in the slow cooker!