Ham and Bean Soup: A classic soup that has been remade to be a bit healthier but still exploding with flavor. A perfect way to use up that leftover ham.
Ham and Bean Soup
Okay, I shared with you my husband’s love of Broccoli Cheese Soup, his second favorite soup of all time is a canned Bean and Bacon Soup.
It is what he grew up on, poor guy.
However, I do not serve him condensed soups in this house–not because I am trying to be cruel and unusual, but because honesty they are so ladened with MSG, I can not even risk heating the soup up for him without an allergic reaction on my part.
So we opt to make our soups that the whole family can enjoy without any negative reaction.
And I nailed it again with this one.
I recreated his beloved Bean and Bacon soup and he was one happy man…and I have to say, I licked my bowl clean and my son asked for 3 servings, so we are all pretty ecstatic to have this soup in our dinner rotation.
The funny thing is that you will notice I call this soup, Ham and Bean NOT Bean and Bacon.
Because I had leftover ham that needed used and the bacon I love was $6 a package.
I am just too frugal to buy one ingredient when another will work just fine–they are both from pigs!!
Lesson: Use what you have on hand to save money!
The ham was a perfect substitution for the bacon–and in the original soup it is really just bacon grease used, not even actual meat.
So, back to the soup.
This is so easy. It does take time to make this recipe, but very, very little effort. And you have to love minimal effort recipes.
I have even included tips on how to make in the slow cooker, so you can leave it all day to tackle other things.
I used dried white beans for the recipe, but feel free to used canned white beans and then you save yourself even more time!
- 2 cups dried white northern beans (or 2 16 oz cans low-sodium white beans, rinsed)
- 4 cups water
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- ham bone (optional!)
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups diced ham
- Rinse the dried beans. Soak in the water overnight.
- Rinse the beans and add to a large stock pot. Add the chicken broth, bay, garlic, thyme, tomato paste, ham bone if using, and salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 3 hours.
- Remove lid and discard the ham bone, the bay and thyme.
- Remove 3 cups of soup and allow to cool slightly. Puree mixture in blender until nice and creamy. Add back to the soup, along with the diced ham.
- Allow to simmer for an additional 20 minutes up to 1 hour.
- For the slow cooker: After beans have been soaked, place all the ingredients into the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Remove ham bone, thyme, and bay. puree 3 cups of soup and stir back into the soup before serving–it is okay to puree the diced ham.
In my opinion, this soup is best served up on a cold day with a large slice of crusty bread. YUM! Enjoy!
For this recipe I recommend: