Ham and Bean Soup
Smoky and rich, this homemade, comforting ham and bean soup recipe comes together quickly on the stovetop or in the slow cooker!
Servings 10 cups
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (about 5 ¼ cups total) (use navy beans, Great Northern beans, or cannellini beans, for instance)
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 ½ lb. smoked ham hock
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Optional: chopped fresh parsley or thyme, for garnish
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat.
Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Stir until vegetables are crisp-tender (about 5 minutes).
Stir in chicken broth, beans, thyme leaves, ham hock, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour.
Discard bay leaf.
Remove ham hock; pull meat off the bone and discard fat. Cut ham into bite-sized pieces and stir into the pot. Garnish with parsley or thyme, just before serving.
- Ham hocks can be quite salty, so I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth and seasoning with herbs. You can always season with salt and pepper to taste at the end.
- Puree or mash some of the beans (and veggies) to thicken the soup. You can use a potato masher or an immersion blender.
- The soup just gets better as it sits in the fridge, so feel free to make a pot in advance and reheat the ham and bean soup the next day. It will have great flavor and texture!
- If you prefer a dried bean soup that starts with soaking the beans, try this recipe.
- Instead of a smoked ham hock, use a leftover ham bone from a Christmas or Easter ham, or use a ham shank. If using a leftover bone, make sure that you have some leftover ham to add to the soup as well.
- Add a can of petite diced tomatoes.
- For extra veggies, add fresh spinach at the very end or kale when there's about 10 minutes left so that it has time to wilt in the hot soup.
- Use even more fresh herbs. In addition to thyme, try parsley, rosemary, chives, basil, or oregano.
- I used chicken broth, but vegetable broth will also work well.
- Leftover roast chicken would also work well in this soup. Stir it into the soup, just like you would the ham.
- Spicy: add a dash of cayenne or garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.
Serving: 1cup | Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.3g | Protein: 12.4g | Fat: 3.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Cholesterol: 15.1mg | Sodium: 826.5mg | Fiber: 7.8g | Sugar: 3.6g