Ham and Bean Soup: Whether you are looking to use up leftover ham or want to cook up a hearty soup for a winter meal this ham and bean soup recipe is for you.
It’s not just a pot of soup, and it’s not just a pot of beans. With chunks of smokey ham, aromatic veggies, and a perfect blend of spices with just the right amount of kick, this ham and bean soup with warm you from the inside out.
I’ve provided the directions for both the slow cooker and the instant pot, which is great because either way you choose to cook it, it’s a low maintenance meal. Let your appliance do all the work for you. Serve it up with a side of sweet cornbread and you’ve got a great meal.
How do you make bean soup with a ham bone?
The process is quite simple:
- If your making this soup on the stove pre soak the beans
- Add in either a leftover ham bone or a ham bone you can buy from the butcher.
- Side note: butchers usually also sell ham hocks which will give you the flavor with out the meat chunks. Just add some chopped up deli ham sliced thick.
- Add the veggies and spices
- Simmer for an hour
- Remove any bones and serve.
Here’s what I love about the instant pot and slow cooker though, even fewer steps. No pre soaking just:
- add everything except the veggies if you’re using the instant pot
- Cook sealed on high for 40 min.
- Quick release.
- Then add the veggies on high for another 3 min.
- Remove bones and bay leaves and serve
- For the crock pot add everything and cook on high for 6 hours
- Remove the bone and serve.
It’s that easy.
What beans do you use for ham and beans?
There is a variety of beans to choose from so how do you choose? The main thing to keep in mind is that which ever bean you choose go with a white variety. Here are characteristics of some of those varieties and how they’ll work in your soup:
- Navy: they have a mild flavor, are the smallest of the three, and are soft but not creamy.
- In a navy bean and ham soup these beans will hold hold their shape and let the rich ham flavor shine.
- Great Northern: They have a mild flavor, are slightly larger than the other three, And have soft but not creamy texture.
- These beans will add bulk but not take over the dish with their mild flavor. They hold thier shape in the soup but can be blended to make it thicker.
- Cannellini, aka white beans:These beans have a nutty flavor, and are soft and creamy.
- For your white bean and ham soup, these beans will add a bit of complexity to the flavor however they have a tendency to fall apart. If you’re looking for a creamier ham and bean soup they’ll get the job done, but it is hard to get the texture right if you want to have some bite to the beans.
My favorite thing to use for this recipe is the ham and 15 bean soup. Not only does it take the debate out of which bean to use, so more brain power to use somewhere else, but the variety of beans used makes for a great texture and flavor without any compromise.
How do you make a good ham and bean soup?
Things to keep in mind are:
- Choose a nice meaty ham bone to infuse your soup with a nice hammy smokey flavor.
- Watch the salt. The bone has a lot of salt already. Don’t add salt without tasting it to make sure it’s not already there.
This recipe is great if you’re looking for a good delicious soup. It’s easy. It’s flavorful. It exceeds expectations.
How do you make ham and bean soup thicker?
If you’re looking for a nice thick consistency for your ham and bean soup here are some tips:
- Let the soup sit for about 15 min. It will thicken as it sits
- Remove about a ½ cup of beans and blend them then add them back to the soup.
- Remove some water and add simmer your soup with a 1 tbs of cornstarch that’s been mixed with 1 cup of water
- If you know at the beginning your soup will need to be thicker start with a roux as a base.
This soup has a great consistency. In the ham and bean soup crockpot method the slow cook allows the soup to thicken up as it cooks, and the instant pot the liquid to bean ratio is just right to make a filling bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night.
Ham and Bean Soup (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
- 20 ounce 15 beans soup mix rinsed, discard the spice packet
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tsps garlic minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 7.5 cups chicken stock 2 quarts
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 lb diced ham
- Ham bone Optional
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup celery
- 1 cup carrots
- Add all ingredients except celery and carrots to the instant pot liner.
- Put the lid on the pot and lock into place.
- Set valve to sealing.
- Cook on high manual pressure for 40 minutes.
- When time is up, let pressure naturally release 15 minutes, then manually release remaining pressure.
- Remove bay leaves and ham bone.
- Taste the soup, and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Add carrots and celery in and return lid to pot, lock into place, and set valve to sealing.
- Cook on manual pressure for 3 minutes, quick release pressure.
- Place all ingredients (except salt and pepper) in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- For the slow cooker, cook in high for about 6 hours, until beans are tender.
- Salt and pepper, to taste. I always taste the soup before I add salt and pepper. There is already a fair amount of salt in the ham and the broth, so sometimes I don't need it at all.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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