White Bean Soup with Ham, Pumpkin, and Chard

Years ago my doctor advised me to “eat colorful foods”. “When you look at the foods on your plate, there should be lots of color and variety,” he explained.

Great advice, and easy to remember. Colorful fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients.

Here’s a warming fall and winter stew that is so alive with color, it makes me smile just to look at it. Just take your basic white bean and ham soup, and rev it up with tomatoes, fresh pumpkin, and chard.

White Bean Soup with Ham, Pumpkin, Chard

My father came over to try some for lunch and went home with half the batch (I wouldn’t let him take it all). Enjoy!

White Bean Soup with Ham, Pumpkin, and Chard Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 5-6

This recipe calls for a sugar pumpkin (the kind you use to make pies). You can easily substitute the same quantity of butternut squash or almost any winter squash.



  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • One 2 pound whole sugar pumpkin, halved, seeds scooped out, flesh peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks (resulting in 3 1/2 cups or 1 pound of chunks)
  • 1/2 ¬†pound ham hock
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained OR 1 large fresh, ripe tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 6 sprigs of thyme, tied with string (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 large Swiss chard leaves (can substitute kale), center rib removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large, thick-bottomed pot (5 to 6 quart). Add the onion and the bay leaves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the chopped celery, cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.

white-bean-soup-pumpkin-chard-method-1 white-bean-soup-pumpkin-chard-method-2

2 Add the chopped pumpkin and the ham hock to the pot. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and thyme. Increase heat to bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, uncovered. Let simmer for an hour and a half.

white-bean-soup-pumpkin-chard-method-3 white-bean-soup-pumpkin-chard-method-4

3 Remove the ham hock from the soup pot, to a plate to let cool enough to handle.  Add the white beans and cook for 15 minutes. Add the chopped chard, simmer until chard is wilted, a few minutes more.

white-bean-soup-pumpkin-chard-method-5 white-bean-soup-pumpkin-chard-method-6

4 Strip the meat from the ham hock, chop it, and return to the pot. Add 1 to 2 cups of water to the soup to thin it to your preference. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Add freshly ground black pepper and adjust seasonings to taste.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

White Bean Soup with Ham, Pumpkin, Chard

Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 55 Comments

  • Andrea

    Ooh, this looks wonderful!

    I have a TON of rainbow chard from my CSA box – will that work in place of swiss chard/kale? Also, any thoughts on how much would be too much to add?

  • Tara

    Looks great, but am disappointed to see chicken stock called for in such a nice VEGETABLE soup. Will try it without. Cheers.

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Know what would also be great with this? Adding some chunks of bread to make it like a Tuscan pumpkin ribollita. Mind you, it looks great as is!

  • sowmya

    Looks so warm and comforting.. packed with nutrients.. glad to follow you :)

View More Comments / Leave a Comment