Go Back
+ servings
Overhead shot of two bowls of ham and bean soup on a wooden dinner table.
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

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!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword bean soup, crockpot ham and bean soup, ham and bean soup, navy bean and ham soup, white bean and ham soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Calories 164kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 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