This classic Ham and White Bean Soup is cozy, healthy, and absolutely delicious. It’s packed with lots of protein and healthy vegetables, and it’s a great way to repurpose leftover ham into something new and wonderful!
Why It Works
This ham and white bean soup has all the comforting, delicious elements that make a soup unforgettable- Tender ham, creamy white beans, hearty vegetables, a rich broth, and lots of Tuscan flavor. But there are more reasons to love it!
👉 It’s easy to make. Most of this recipe is hands-off. There’s only a tiny bit of prep work involved, and with everything cooked in just one pot, there’s less to clean up after!
👉 It uses up leftover ham. Say goodbye to boring leftovers! This recipe turns your leftover ham into something truly special. The soup is comforting and wonderful
👉 It’s budget friendly. Using leftovers and budget friendly ingredients like beans, carrots, and celery, and onion, this is a great way to stretch your ingredients.
- Cooked Ham. Use any leftover ham, spiral ham, or ham steak, diced or pulled into bite sized pieces.
- White beans. Cannellini beans, great northern beans, or any other white bean will work great!
- Vegetable broth or chicken broth. I use my own homemade vegetable broth, but any store bought brand you like will work great!
- Produce: Onion, Celery, Carrots, Garlic.
- Seasonings: Dried Thyme, Rosemary, Bay Leaves, and Salt & Pepper.
- Oil. For sauteeing the vegetables.
- Ham bone, optional. If you have a ham bone, throw it in the soup while it simmers. It will add TONS of extra flavor!
Optional ingredients: If you like extra veggies in your soup, feel free to add 1-2 cups total of vegetables like diced bell pepper, sliced mushroooms, diced potatoes, or diced cabbage.
Step 1: Saute the vegetables.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. If you’re including any other optional vegetables, add them now.
Saute the vegetables for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened a bit.
Step 2: Cook together.
Add the broth, beans, ham, seasonings (except for salt), bay leaves, and ham bone if using, then stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cover and allow it to cook for 20-30 minutes.
To test if the soup is done, simply open the lid and check to see how soft the carrots are. If they’re still crisp, cook for another 5 minutes and test them again. If the carrots are soft, the soup is done! Simply season to taste and enjoy!
Note: Be sure to taste the soup before you add any salt to it. Ham can add a lot of salty flavor to the soup, so you may only need a little salt or even none at all once it cooks together.
Slow Cooker Adaptation
Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and use a large spoon to stir all the ingredients together. Set the lid on, and turn your slow cooker to low heat for 4-5 hours, or high heat for 2.5-3 hours. Give the soup a stir, and it’s ready to enjoy!
Instant Pot Adaptation
Set your Instant Pot to Saute mode. Add the oil, and saute the onions, celery, garlic, and carrots for about 4-5 minutes. Add all of the other ingredients and stir together.
Close the Instant Pot, then set to High pressure for 5 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Once the pressure valve drops down, the lid will unlock. Carefully open the lid and enjoy!
FAQ & Tips
Yes, this soup freezes beautifully! Allow it to cool completely, then transfer the leftover soup to an airtight container, zip top bag, or freezer safe silicone bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible, then set in the freezer. Use within 2-3 months for best taste. Defrost it by sitting the bag on a plate in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat and enjoy!
Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or zip top bag, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, per USDA.
Classic Ham and White Bean Soup
- Dutch Oven or large pot with lid
- 3 cups cooked ham diced or pulled into bite-sized pieces
- 5 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 4 cans cannellini beans or any other white bean
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 2 medium carrots about 1 cup sliced
- 1/2 onion diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- salt to taste
- ham bone optional
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Saute the vegetables for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened a bit.
- Add the broth, beans, ham, seasonings (except for salt), bay leaves, and ham bone if using, then stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cover and allow it to cook for 20-30 minutes. Test if the soup is done by poking a carrot with a fork. If it's tender and the fork slides through easily, the soup is finished cooking. Simply season to taste and ladle into bowls to serve.