Classic, cozy, and totally comforting white bean and ham soup is a stick to your ribs kind of warmth in a bowl. Made either with or without a ham bone, this soup an easy to make and family pleasing meal.
As the weather gets colder and the snow piles higher, we are loving big warming bowls of soup more and more. The best soup for a cold and chilly day? The kind of soup that sticks to your ribs and warms you right up from the inside out - just like this white bean and ham soup.
It's thick, it's creamy, and it's packed full of beans (and fibre) with just the right amount of ham and an earthy herby broth. I won't forget to mention that it's totally easy to throw together. Made from humble ingredients (hello beans and leftover ham) it's great when your on a budget and it's guaranteed to warm you up on the chilliest of days.
Why You're Going To Love This
- Repurpose your leftovers. Got leftover ham? This ham and bean soup is a great way to repurpose it into a new meal. Bonus points if you've got a ham bone!
- Budget friendly & healthy. Dried beans are extremely affordable and they are a great source of dietary fibre.
- Quick & Easy. There are only 2 easy steps to this soup - sauteing the veggies, then cooking the soup.
- Large batch yield and freezer friendly. This recipe makes 8 servings. Eat it for dinner one night and pack the rest away in the freezer for a later meal.
- navy beans - I use dried beans for this recipe both because the flavour is better and because dried is more economical than canned. You can substitute the navy beans for great northern beans, but the cooking time will take a bit longer.
- Chicken stock - use your favourite brand. This can also be substituted for ham stock if it's available to you.
- Ham - any leftover ham pieces will do. I had leftovers from a spiral ham that I used in this recipe, along with the bone.
- Garlic - always use fresh.
- Herbs - I used rosemary and thyme. These can be substituted for whatever you have on hand or whichever herbs you like best.
- celery, onion, and carrot - the classic flavour base for soups.
- ham bone (not pictured) - If you have a leftover ham bone, bean and ham soup is a great place to use it for extra flavour. If you don't have one, don't worry and just omit.
How to make it.
Saute the veggies and garlic. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven or similar sized heavy bottomed pot to medium heat, and a splash of oil and saute the veggies and onions for a few minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Add the soaked beans, ham, stock, herbs, and ham bone (if you've got one) to the pot.
Cook & finish the soup. Increase the heat to high and bring the pot to a boil. When the soup is boiling, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for about an hour. The soup is done when the beans have fully softened. Remove the sticks from the herbs from the pot and optionally use an immersion blender to blend up a little bit of the soup so that the broth thickens a bit as I did.
- Wait to season. Ham can contain a lot of salt and seasoning this soup before it has cooked can make it too salty. Wait until the soup is done to check for seasoning then add salt if necessary.
- Freeze half. This recipe makes 8 servings. Pack half of it away in the freezer for a later meal. Sometimes I'll even freeze soups like this in individual portions to take out for a healthy lunch.
If you want to make this meal extra cozy, try it with our easy and delicious no knead bread!
More recipes you'll love!
If you like this white bean and ham soup, you might want to check out some of our other hearty, warm you right up winter soup recipes.
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White Bean and Ham Soup
- 1 lb navy beans - soaked over nigh
- 1 ham bone - optional, but recommended
- 2 cups diced ham
- 1 large onion - diced
- 1-2 carrots - diced
- 2 ribs celery - diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 10 cups chicken stock
- Heat a 6-quart dutch oven or similar sized heavy bottom pot to medium heat and add a bit of oil.
- Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pot and season with sea salt and pepper. Saute the veggies for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic and sauteing for a few more minutes - until the veggies have softened.
- Add the stock, ham bone, beans and ham then place the herbs on top of it all.
- Increase the heat to high and bring the pot to a boil. Once it it boiling reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the beans have fully softened.Optionally use an immersion blender to blend a small amount of the soup to thicken it up a bit.
* nutritional information is calculated by online tools and may not be 100% accurate.