Easy, rich, delicious bean soup loaded with chunks of ham, slow simmered to perfection with vegetables for a hearty flavor that will stick to your ribs without breaking the bank!
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Classic Hearty Ham and Bean Soup
This recipe is a cozy, delicious classic - perfect for snuggling up on crisp, cool fall days, dunking a fresh baked roll into, and warming up with; it is incredibly friendly on the wallet and is very filling even though it comes in just around 300 calories per serving - making this Ham and Bean soup one of my favorite meals.
This soup is really a lifesaver - it is simple to prepare, easy to cook, and reheats like a dream - plus it can feed a family of four for under $15 for two nights.
You can throw this soup in the slow cooker or an Instant Pot, add more vegetables or meat, change up the flavors - it is designed to be versatile. Plus, if you recently had a ham, you can throw the ham bone in to add more flavor, and save even more by using up your leftovers.
We hope you'll love this soup as much as we do!
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Ham - Ham is the hind legs of a pig, that are curred with salt and often smoked. I used smoked ham for this recipe because it brings a meaty, smoky flavor to the beans.
- Dried Bean Soup Mix - Dried bean mixes are a great way to easily incorporate a number of interesting flavors and textures into a soup. I used a mix that had navy beans, split peas, black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans among others. The soup mix I used also include a flavor pouch.
- Onions - Onion is the staple ingredient of the classic mirepoix, a flavor alliance of onions, carrots, and celery that is the foundation of many western dishes. The onion provides a hearty and sweet flavor when cooked.
- Carrots - ? of the mirepoix soup base, carrots bring sweetness and texture to the soup, and a contrasting bite to the beans.
- Celery - Celery completes the mirepoix, with a slightly salty and fresh flavor. The traditional mirepoix ratio is 2 parts onion, to 1 part celery.
- Olive Oil - Building the soup base requires a tasty fat to cook your mirepoix in. Olive oil is great for this dish because its mild and rich flavor compliments the vegetable sweetness and starchy richness of the beans.
- Garlic - Garlic brings an umami flavor and brilliance to the finish of this hearty soup.
- Bay Leaf - Bay leaves are traditional flavorings for a wide variety of international cuisines. In American and European dishes, they’re more often used whole and then removed before serving. They contribute a herbal and floral nose to your dish and bring a mild earthiness
- Beef Stock - No soup is complete without a liquid base. Using beef stock to cook the beans, ensure they’ll absorb much of the beefy flavor from the stock making this dish that much heartier.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Prepare your ingredients. The French call this step “mise en place” or “everything in its place.” It’s a great way to keep your kitchen cleaner while you’re cooking. Dice up your onions, carrots, and celery. Mince the garlic. Dice the ham.
- Saute the vegetables. In a dutch oven or other large, heavy pot brown your onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat, and then add your garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are brown and the garlic is fragrant and soft.
- Simmer. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the beans, ham, beef stock, bay leaf, and seasoning packet from your bean soup mix. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a lower simmer. Cook the soup for 45-65 minutes until the beans are tender.
- Serve hot. Serve this soup hot with freshly baked bread!
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Ham and Bean Soup:
This Easy Ham and Bean Soup is so easy it’s only three cooking steps! Here are a few tips to make it even easier.
Use leftover diced ham. Got leftover ham from your holiday meal? Use it in this recipe!
Buy pre-diced ham. An 8oz package of ham is comfortably under $5 at most grocery stores, and comes pre-diced - so you can simply add to the soup. This is an economical choice that saves time and your wallet!
Throw in the ham bone. If you had a spiral ham, and have a ham bone, throw it into the soup as it cooks for even more flavor.
Ham and bean soup will keep in your refrigerator for up to a week, and three months in your freezer.
Bell peppers, okra, carrots, peas (only add peas at end of cooking), are all delicious in this soup!
If not using a ham bone to cook your soup, I like to use the flavoring packet in the bean soup bag - it helps to enhance the meaty flavor of your soup.
Yes! Go ahead and load it up - with double or even triple the amount of ham, if desired.
Try to use a low sodium stock for this soup and reserve salt until after simmering, as ham is already quite salty.
Soup can be made in a slow cooker by adding all ingredients to slow cooker and cooking on low for 6 hours, high for 4 hours, or until beans are soft.
What to Serve With Easy Ham and Bean Soup
Fresh and bright salads are also a healthy balance for this rich and hearty soup. I especially like to pair it with vinegar-based dressings like my easy coleslaw, crunchy parmesan salad, or garden vegetable greek salad.
For more of our bread recipes, find our recent favorites here:
Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
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Delicious meaty bean soup with diced ham, loaded with rich flavor everyone loves!
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 carrots
- Bay leaf
- 1 bag 15 bean soup mix
- 5 cloves garlic
- 8 oz diced ham
- 15 oz beef stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound dried bean soup mix beans
- Heat oil in a dutch oven until shimmery.
- Add onions, carrots, garlic, and celery. Cook until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in ham, beans, herbs, and stock.
- Simmer 45-65 minutes, until beans are tender and soft.
Amount Per Serving Calories 308Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 18mgSodium 2669mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 17gSugar 8gProtein 19g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.