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.
My husband has a seriously love of soup in the winter. He loves Tomato Soup, Potato Soup and his all time favorite is Broccoli Cheese Soup.
He also grew up eating (and loving) Campbell’s Bean and Bacon soup.
He hasn’t had that canned soup in nearly 2 decades now, but he can still enjoy the flavor with my recreation of Bean and Bacon Soup.
But instead of Bean and Bacon, I make Bean and Ham–and he swears it tastes the same.
Ham and Bean Soup
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 bean and bacon soup it is really just bacon grease used–not even actual meat–the soup just needs the pork flavor, not the actual bacon.
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!
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker:
- If using dried beans, soak white beans overnight.
- Next Morning, 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.
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup in the Instant Pot:
- Place all ingredients in Instant Pot and turn valve to sealed position.
- Cook on high pressure for 70 minutes.
- Allow pressure to release naturally.
- Remove ham bone and serve.
Notes on Easy Ham and White Bean Soup:
- The ham bone gives this bean soup incredible flavor. However, if you don’t have a ham bone, diced ham will work.
- Instead of using a ham bone, you can also saute 4-6 slices of thick bacon. Once bacon is cooked, remove bacon, and saute the carrots and onion in the grease. Then proceed to make the soup as directed.
- You can substitute 2 16 ounce cans of white beans instead of dried beans.
- Feel free to omit the carrots and onions if you have picky eaters.
- Sometimes, I remove 3 cups of the soup after cooking and puree and then add back in for a creamy Ham and Bean soup.
- To Freeze Ham and Bean Soup–cook as directed, once cooled place in 4-8 cup portions and place in freezer safe bags or freezer safe containers. Defrost slowly in fridge overnight and heat to serve. Add a bit more stock or water to thin out the soup if it seems thick.
Ham and Bean Soup
- 2 cups dried white northern beans or 2 16 oz cans low-sodium white beans, rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves diced
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- ham bone
- 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, carrots, onions, 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.
Add in diced ham.
Allow to simmer for an additional 20 minutes up to 1 hour.