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5 from 6 votes

Bean Soup

Thick, smoky and satisfying, this healthy Bean Soup is the perfect recipe for a chilly day! The easy dinner can be prepared on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot for a convenient option that suits your schedule.
Course Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword bean soup, ham and bean soup, healthy soup recipe, leftover ham recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Soaking Time 8 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 186kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried beans (I used a 15-bean mix, but any variety will work. You can use just navy beans or just pinto beans, if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots peeled and diced
  • 4 celery ribs diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated garlic
  • 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. cooked ham diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

STOVETOP:

  • Place beans in a large pot or bowl. Cover with water 2 inches above beans and soak for 8 hours (or overnight). Drain beans.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic until softened and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in drained beans, broth, ham, salt, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; cover; reduce heat to low, and simmer (covered) for 2 - 2 ½ hours (or until beans and vegetables are tender). Remove bay leaves; serve.

SLOW COOKER:

  • Place beans in a large pot. Cover with water 2 inches above beans and soak for 8 hours (or overnight). Drain beans.
  • Transfer soaked beans to slow cooker insert.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic until softened and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer vegetables to the slow cooker.
  • Stir in broth, ham, salt, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until beans and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves; serve.

INSTANT POT:

  • Place beans in a large pot. Cover with water 2 inches above beans and soak for 8 hours (or overnight). Drain beans. Set aside.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to “Sauté” function. Add oil and heat until oil shimmers. Sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic until softened and translucent. Turn off the pot.
  • Add soaked beans, broth, ham, salt, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves. Cover with the lid and seal to lock. Press the manual pressure cook button and set the timer to 20 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then move the valve to “venting” to release the rest of the pressure. Remove the lid; remove bay leaves; serve!

Notes

  • If possible, make this soup 1-2 days in advance. It just gets better as it sits in the refrigerator, and it will thicken up a lot as it cools!
  • If you don't have time to soak your beans and you prefer a canned bean soup, try this Easy Ham and Bean Soup recipe.
  • If you're looking for a recipe for Bean Soup with Ham Bone, try this easy recipe. It's a ham and bean soup with canned beans and a smoked ham hock or ham bone. You can also try using the ham bone in this recipe; although I have not tested this particular recipe with a ham bone.
  • I used petite diced tomatoes (since the kids prefer the smaller bites), but you can use regular diced tomatoes or other canned tomatoes of choice.
  • This recipe calls for a very small amount of salt, since ham is often salty on its own. Feel free to season the soup with additional salt and pepper at the end of cooking. You can always add more, but you never want it to be too salty!
  • For a vegetarian bean soup, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Omit the ham, and add an extra ½ cup of dried beans. It will still be delicious! Season with cumin, salt, pepper or other spices, to add extra flavor to your liking!
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1282mg | Potassium: 675mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3530IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3.1mg