Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup is a classic comfort dish that combines tender beans with savory ham in a flavorful broth. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal, perfect for warming you up on chilly days. The soup is typically made with dried navy beans, ham hock or leftover ham bone, aromatic vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery, and a variety of herbs and seasonings.

To make Ham and Bean Soup, dried navy beans are soaked overnight and then simmered with the ham bone or ham hock, vegetables, and broth until the beans are tender and the flavors have melded together. The ham infuses the soup with rich, smoky flavors, while the beans add texture and heartiness.

This soup is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can add additional vegetables like potatoes or tomatoes, or incorporate herbs and spices like thyme, bay leaves, or smoked paprika for extra depth of flavor. Some recipes also call for the addition of bacon or sausage for extra richness.

Ham and Bean Soup is often served as a main course, accompanied by crusty bread or cornbread for soaking up the flavorful broth. It’s a comforting and nourishing dish that’s sure to become a favorite in your household.


  • ½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 (15.5) ounce cans white beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ¼ – 1 ½ lb bone in ham steak


Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onion and celery have softened; 6-7 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, thyme leaves, cumin, white pepper and crushed red pepper cooking for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken broth, brown sugar, white beans and bay leaves.
Add the ham steak by slicing it into sections that will fit in the pot. Don’t forget to include the ham bone. Let everything simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Then remove the ham from the pot and cut into bite size pieces. Discard any fat, skin, the ham bone and the bay leaves. Then return the ham to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. If desired season to taste with additional black pepper, crushed red pepper or thyme.
For a creamy texture puree a small portion of the soup with a handheld immersion blender or in a stand blender. Always remove the inner cap when blending hot liquids.

Leave a Comment