Easy to make Ham and Bean Soup is a tried and true classic comfort meal! Chicken broth serves as a gracious host to celery, carrots, beans, and plenty of savory ham. Make this soup on a chilly day to immediately feel warmer, fuller, and comforted as can be.

A full white bowl of soup is presented on a blue and white tea cloth next to white salt and pepper shakers.

Ham and Bean Soup

After enjoying a nice dinner ham, you’re bound to have leftovers. And if you’re like me, Christmas isn’t the only time you make a big ham! Sometimes, I’ll make a good one (or even buy it from the store) just so my family and I can eat off of it for days.

If I’m not chopping up leftover ham for a Ham Salad, I’m tossing it into a big pot and making this seriously good soup!

When I think of soup for dinner, I think of a few qualifying aspects that will make the soup a complete meal. Does it have protein? Does it have veggies? Does it have carbs? Yes, yes, and yes – this ham and bean soup has it all!

The ham itself and the northern beans will keep you full for hours after you’re finished eating, and the carrots and celery will nourish your body with plenty of vitamins and nutrients.

On top of being well rounded, this soup is deliciously flavorful! Made with aromatic ingredients like garlic and herbs, each bite of this soup will really hit the spot and satisfy your taste buds. Oh, and if you want the broth to really knock your socks off, make sure to make some Easy Homemade Chicken Stock. It’s a simple way to elevate any soup that calls for chicken broth, and it does wonders for this classic recipe.

The ingredients for ham and bean soup are presented on a white surface.

How to Make It

Did I mention this soup is easy to make?! Made with inexpensive ingredients in just a few easy to follow steps, ham and bean soup is the most ideal weeknight dinner – especially when it’s chilly outside!

Heat it up. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven. 

Cook the veggies. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are translucent. 

Make it fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or until fragrant.

Add more ingredients. Add in the ham, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir for 2 minutes.

Cook the soup. Pour the chicken broth and add the beans and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Enjoy! Serve warm with fresh chopped parsley.

A soup ladel is lifting a portion of ham and bean soup from a full pot.

How long will ham and bean soup stay fresh?

In an airtight container, this homemade ham and bean soup will stay fresh for about 3-4 days. Just make sure it’s completely cooled to room temperature before you store it.

If you’d like to keep it fresh for even longer, transfer the soup to a freezer safe food storage container and pop it into the freezer, where it’ll keep for up to 3 months. To reheat it the frozen soup, just place it in a pot over low heat until it’s warmed through. You can also use a slow cooker if you’d prefer.

Do I need to soak the northern beans?

Since we’re using canned northern beans in this quick and easy recipe, you don’t need to soak them. Just make sure they’re drained and rinsed prior to adding to the soup.

What should I serve ham and bean soup with?

Like I mentioned earlier, this soup is a whole meal all by itself! However, I sometimes like to also serve it with some Easy Brioche Dinner Rolls so I can soak up every last drop of that delicious broth. Oh, and since this is a predominantly Southern recipe, why not enjoy a tall glass of Southern Sweet Tea alongside it?

Two bowls of ham and bean soup are persented next to one another on a table.

Enjoy more slurp-worthy simple soup recipes!

For more easy soup recipes, follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

A full white bowl of soup is presented on a blue and white tea cloth next to white salt and pepper shakers.

Get the Recipe: Ham and Bean Soup

Cozy comfort food that's warm and hearty, this easy Ham and Bean Soup is perfect for lunch or dinner.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups chopped leftover ham
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 14- ounce cans northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly chopped parsley

Equipment

  • stockpot

Instructions 

  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven.
  • Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or until fragrant.
  • Add in the ham, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the chicken broth and add the beans and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm with fresh chopped parsley.

Notes

If you want to add more ham, you can add an extra half a cup.
Calories: 378kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 1029mg, Potassium: 1036mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 5119IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 126mg, Iron: 4mg