Ham and Bean Soup

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Ham and Bean Soup


Economical Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup is one of my favorite things to make in the winter.  I often find ham on sale around the holidays, and it makes it a perfect, inexpensive meal, especially when you can get a dinner out of it and a big pot of soup.  Ham and Bean Soup takes only a few ingredients, and because I use dried beans, I simmer mine all day.  But here’s a shortcut: if you use canned beans, you can have Ham and Bean Soup ready in about an hour.  It’s up to you whether you want to have a long cooking or short cooking pot of soup.

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Incredible Yet Simple Ingredients for Ham and Bean Soup

Leftover ham, or even a couple of ham slices are the basis for Ham and Bean Soup.  I saute the ham in the pot when I start cooking the soup, bringing out the best flavors of the ham.  Adding to the flavor is celery, along with some of the leaves, garlic, and onions.  I saute them after the ham starts to caramelize, bringing out an earthy flavor.  Then come the beans.  I love to use navy beans in Ham and Bean Soup.  I soak them the night before in cold water, which makes them cook a little faster the next day.  Navy beans give the soup a great body and almost makes a gravy with the broth.  To top it off, I add some hot, cooked pasta at the end that gives the soup even more body and bite.  The simplest ingredients come together to make a thick, rich Ham and Bean Soup that you’ll be happy to have on the table on cold winter nights.

Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup


  • 2 lbs dried navy beans
  • 3 C cubed ham
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced with leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb ditalini pasta


  1. Rinse the beans in a colander and soak in a bowl of cold water overnight.
  2. The next day, saute the ham in a stock pot.
  3. When it starts to caramelize, add the onions, celery, and garlic. Saute until they start to turn tender.
  4. Add the beans and water to cover, plus at least an inch.
  5. Simmer all day, until the beans start to break apart and turn into gravy.
  6. Boil the pasta in a separate pot, until nearly cooked through.
  7. Drain and add to the soup.
  8. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then serve hot.

Freezing Ham and Bean Soup

You can make up a big pot of Ham and Bean Soup and freeze some for later!  When you have a lot of ham leftover, make a lot of soup.  Once it’s cool, you can place it in freezer containers for future meals.  It makes a great meal later on, when you don’t have much time to make dinner.  Just thaw in the pot, heat it up, and you are ready to go!  Ham and Bean Soup is an easy to make dinner that you’ll love.

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