Ham and bean soup is simple to make and perfect for a cold night. Made with white beans and fresh vegetables, it’s so flavorful and a great way to use leftover ham!
Soup season is upon us and we are here for it! Add this ham and bean soup to your rotation, along with a few more of our favorites – Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Split Pea Soup, and Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup.
With all of the holiday meals this time of year, it means it’s also time for… holiday leftovers! I’ve always been a big fan of leftovers, and in fact I usually buy a bigger ham or turkey than I need, just so I can make sure I have lots of leftovers. I love coming up with new recipes to use them up! This ham and bean soup is one of my favorite ways to use leftover ham, and I love that it is so flavorful and hearty. It’s simple, delicious, and filling, and perfect for a chilly winter night.
How to Make Ham and Bean Soup
I’ve seen a lot of soup recipes that start with dry beans. I love this much quicker and easier version that uses canned beans so you don’t need to soak them. I used great northern white beans, but this soup would also work well with navy beans or cannellini beans.
Prep The Veggies – You’ll start by sautéing your chopped vegetables with some olive oil in a large pot. You’ll want to cook these until the onions are nice and soft.
Beans & Ham – Add in some garlic and let it cook for a minute or two, to really boost the flavor. Next, add your chicken broth, beans, and chopped ham to the pot. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer Down – Bring the white bean and ham soup to a simmer and let it cook for about for about 20-25 minutes. When the beans are soft and the vegetables are tender, you’ll know it’s ready to serve.
Substitute Idea – As great as this soup is when it’s made with leftover ham, you can easily substitute chopped deli ham instead if you don’t have any on hand. You may need to decrease the salt in the soup a little, depending on how salty your ham is.
Thicken It – If you prefer your bean soup even thicker, there’s an easy way to do this. Set aside about a cup of the white beans and blend them before adding them to the pot. This way the flavor stays exactly the same but the consistency will be thicker.
Freezing It – Yes, you can easily freeze this ham and white bean soup recipe if you need to. Simply place the soup into a freezer-safe container and then let it cool completely before putting it in the freezer. I like using these type of containers because I’m always afraid freezer bags will leak. You can keep it frozen for up to two months. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the fridge first and then warm it up on the stove.
More Leftover Ham Recipes
- Ham and Potato Soup
- The Best Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Amazing Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches
- Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Easiest Ham & Potato Casserole
This ham and bean soup has the most delicious combination of flavors! I love the tender chunks of ham and vegetables, and the beans make the soup so hearty and filling. It’s simple and delicious comfort food! I usually serve it with some crusty bread and a salad on the side, and it’s a meal that my whole family loves.
Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 15 ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups chopped cooked ham
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot, and cook until the onions are softened.
- Next, add the garlic to the pot and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, beans, ham, salt, and pepper to the pot, and stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until slightly thickened. Serve hot.