Ham and bean Soup is a simple to make recipe that I know you’ll make over and over again. Common ingredients come together to make this hearty, flavorful, and savory recipe for bean soup with ham.
Have you been stressing about what to do with all of that leftover ham from a recent holiday dinner? I have you covered with this totally simple Ham and Bean soup recipe. Pull out a can of beans, some veggies, and broth and you’ll be enjoying that ham in a new and delicious way.
I make this ham soup sometimes without having leftover ham. I watch for sales on smoked hams at my local grocery store and pick up a small one just to make this soup. If there’s leftovers from that, I shred it and freeze it to use for the next recipe. Leftover ham is never a problem here!
I love soup so much, and the blog is packed with amazing soup recipes that you can make quickly and easily to feed your family. You will also love Instant Pot Pea Soup which is made with smoked ham hock, and this delicious and cozy Zuppa Toscana, flavored with savory, salty bacon and Italian sausage.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s Ready Fast. Bean soup and ham can be ready in less than 30 minutes because most all of the ingredients going in are already cooked. This soup is a great option if you’re hungry already.
- Excellent for Leftovers. Leftover ham from a holiday meal, like my Instant Pot Ham, Pineapple Ham, or Honey Baked Ham gets used up expertly in this recipe.
- Big Flavors. Ham is often overlooked as a flavor enhancer. In soups the flavor of ham gets its proper time to shine. This soup is perfectly salty, savory, and a bit smokey, with hints of sweetness, depending on if your ham was glazed or not.
- Simple Ingredients. You probably have all of these ingredients already, no need to shop for any items that are hard to find or will only be used once.
Ingredients in Ham Soup
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ham: You can use leftover ham to make this ham soup! Otherwise, you can purchase a small cooked ham to make this soup. Shred the ham into small pieces.
Keep the size of the shredded ham pieces small, so that they will fit on your spoon! ½ inch is the perfect size.
- Onion, Carrot, Celery: The holy trinity, soffrito, mirepoix – whatever you want to call it, these three vegetables are the flavor base of almost all soups.
- Garlic: I love the flavor of garlic with the salty ham. 3 cloves, minced, is the perfect amount.
- Stock: Chicken stock is a great shortcut when making this soup. If you’ve recently baked a ham and have the bone, you can make ham stock to use instead.
- Beans: Cannellini beans are my choice for this ham and bean soup. If you have another type of beans, such as great northern, butterbeans, or navy beans, you can use those instead. Drain and rinse the beans before cooking.
- Seasonings: The ham and mirepoix gives this soup a lot of flavor, but the addition of Italian seasoning, black pepper, and some fresh parsley takes it to another level. No salt is needed due to the salt content of the ham.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup
- Sauté: In a dutch oven, heat olive oil, add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook for 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, or until fragrant. Then add the ham, and cook for 3 more minutes to blend the flavors.
- Mix: Pour in the chicken stock, and season with Italian seasoning and ground black pepper.
- Simmer: Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Finish: Stir in the beans and cook for 5 more minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more liquid. Taste and adjust the salt to your preference. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
What to Serve with Ham and Bean Soup
Bread: I always like to have some sort of bread around to dip into my soups. A nice crusty Italian bread is my go-to. Cornbread pairs really well with this savory soup too, as do Texas Roadhouse Rolls.
Salad: It’s really not necessary, but a side salad could also be really nice with this filling soup. Try this Kale Salad, or my Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad.
Dessert: If you’re making this soup after the Christmas holiday, I hope you’ll be able to enjoy some leftover cookies too! A few Italian Wedding Cookies with a mug of hot chocolate will be lovely.
You can add any type of vegetables to this soup to add color and nutrition. Try kale, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, or frozen peas, or green beans.
Some like potatoes in their ham soup. Diced potatoes can be added and cooked in the soup until tender. Just note that if you plan to add potatoes, this soup will take longer to cook.
You make this ham soup with beans, of course. Ham sandwiches and breakfast casseroles are also good options. My second favorite way to use leftover ham is to add it to homemade Velveeta Mac and Cheese!
Since this ham soup has an Italian flair, the obvious choice for me was cannellini beans, which are white Italian kidney beans. Any other white bean can be substituted, such as great northern beans or navy beans. Using canned beans makes this recipe super simple and fast to cook.
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days, or frozen for longer storage. This soup will freeze well for up to 3 months.
This recipe works perfectly with chicken stock, but if you’d prefer to make ham stock, it’s very easy. Just put the bone from a cooked ham in a pot and cover with water. Add in whole onion, carrot, and celery. Simmer until you’ve pulled the flavor out of the ingredients, skimming off any impurities that rise to the top of the pot.
This soup recipe is generally supposed to be thin and brothy, but if you prefer it to be thicker, you can add cornstarch or potato starch, whisked with a cup of hot broth into the soup to thicken it. Alternatively, you can mash up some of the beans to add starch to the broth.
Whether you’re using up leftovers or starting from scratch, this ham and bean soup will be well worth the short amount of time you spend making it. Enjoy, and make sure to Pin this for everyone to enjoy with you!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) olive oil
- 1 medium (1 medium) yellow onion diced
- 1 large (1 large) carrot peeled and diced
- 2 ribs (2 ribs) celery diced small
- 3 cloves (3 cloves) garlic minced
- 1 pound (450 grams) cooked ham shredded
- 4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground black pepper
- 3 15-ounce cans (3 400-gram cans) cannellini or great northern beans drained
- chopped fresh parsley finely chopped, for garnish
- In a dutch oven, heat olive oil, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds – 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the ham, and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Pour in the chicken stock, and season with Italian seasoning and ground black pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, and cook for 5 more minutes. If needed/soup is too thick, add more liquid and simmer for a few more minutes. Taste the soup, and adjust the salt to your preference.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
- Keep the size of the shredded ham pieces small, so that they will fit on your spoon! ½ inch is the perfect size.
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days, or frozen for longer storage. This soup will freeze well for up to 3 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen
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