White Bean and Ham Soup

Soup and StewComfort FoodGluten-FreeHam

Hearty White Bean and Ham Soup, perfect for cold winter days! White beans, ham shanks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Tabasco, and herbs make this delicious ham and bean soup a cool weather classic.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Ham and Bean Soup for Cold Days

When the weather turns cold, and all you want to do is stay cozy and warm, the best thing to do is to make a big pot of hearty soup. On days like these, nothing is more comforting than this ham and white bean soup. (Well, maybe some fuzzy woolen slippers, but you can’t eat those!)

The Best Ham and Bean Soup – A Family Classic

This ham and bean soup is one of my favorite recipes on the website, and one that my father has been making for the family for decades. He makes a big batch (doubles this one) and because it just gets better as the days go by, we’ll enjoy this white bean and ham soup for dinner one night and then for lunch for several days afterward. It really is the best ham and bean soup.

Why is it that some stews and soups improve the next day? I think it’s because the flavors from the beans, ham, and vegetables have time to blend. The starch from the beans settles more into the broth making the soup thicker and more stew-like too.

White Bean and Ham Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of white beans—Cannellini or Great Northern—about 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2-3 lbs of smoked ham hocks or shanks
  • 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence, or Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced onions (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 ribs)
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley

Method

1 Soak the dry beans in hot water Fill a pot large enough to hold the beans with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the beans and soak the beans for about 2 hours. Drain the water.

2 Make the ham broth While the beans are soaking in step 1, put the ham shanks or ham hocks in a separate large pot and cover them with 2 quarts of water. Add the herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning. Heat on high heat until the water comes to a simmer, then lower the heat, partially cover and maintain the simmer for about an hour.

3 Sauté the onions Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

4 Add vegetables and beans to the ham broth Once the ham hocks or shanks have been simmering for an hour, add the drained soaked beans from step 1, the onions, garlic, and the chopped celery and carrots. Cook for another 40 minutes or so, uncovered, until the vegetables are soft and the ham meat easily pulls away from the bone. Remove the ham bones from the soup and pull off any meat and return it to the soup. Discard the bones.

5 Season to taste Add several drops of Tabasco to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a pinch of chopped fresh parsley.

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Products We Love

Links:

Portuguese White Bean and Pork Stew - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

White Bean Soup with Ham and Rosemary - from Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup with Peppers and Ham - From Andrea's Recipes

ham and bean soup or bean soup with ham hock in white bowl

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

107 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ashley

    My fiance bought a ham without the bone, would this recipe still work even if it’s a full boneless ham?

  • Heather

    I have lots of Lima beans dried ones could I use them do,you think?

    Regards
    Heather

  • Sherry

    Delish! Made it tonight and the family loved it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Alison

    Sounds awesome. Would some peppers go okay with this type of soup?

  • Earl

    I have a question, My wife brought hame a pork shoulder with which I am making you spicy pork stew. Now I have a pork shoulder bone and I am wondering. How well would this bone work with the white bean and pork soup recipe?

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White Bean Ham Soup ready for servingWhite Bean and Ham Soup