Hearty Ham and Bean Soup Recipe

Hearty ham and bean soup recipe

The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

  • Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
299 Calories
2g Fat
53g Carbs
19g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 353mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 16g 58%
Protein 19g
Calcium 185mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hearty ham and bean soup is the kind of soup you crave on a cold fall or winter day. It's a simple preparation using dried beans and diced ham along with chopped vegetables. The flavor comes from the long simmering. Add a ham bone or ham hock for the extra smoky flavor. It is an excellent way to use leftover ham!

We like hot baked cornbread with the soup, but biscuits slathered with butter or thick slices of crusty homemade bread would be equally delicious.

It's a great lunch soup, too. Serve it in cups with sandwiches or a simple tossed salad.


Click Play to See This Hearty Ham and Bean Soup Recipe Come Together


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound Great Northern beans (or navy beans)
  • 2 cups ham (diced cooked)
  • Optional: 1 ham bone (or ham hock)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 or 2 ribs celery (chopped or sliced thinly)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for hearty ham and bean soup
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  2. Bring the water and beans to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; boil for 2 minutes.

    Beans in pot
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  3. Remove the beans from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.

    Remove lid
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  4. Add the ham and ham bone or ham hock to the beans, along with onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

    Add ham bone
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  5. Skim any foam from top.

    Skim top
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender - about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If soup is too thick, add a little more water.

    Reduce heat
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  7. If you used a ham bone or ham hocks, take them out of the soup and remove the meat.

    Remove ham
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  8. Dice or shred the meat and return it to the soup.

    Dice or shred meat
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  9. Add the tomato sauce and salt, to taste, and simmer for about 15 minutes longer.

    Add tomato sauce
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  10. Remove the bay leaf.

    Remove bay leaf
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  11. Serve in bowls and enjoy!

    Hearty ham and bean soup
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic


  • If you soak the beans overnight, use 8 cups of water and skip the first step of boiling the beans and letting them stand for an hour.
  • This soup is good for tailgating. Transfer the finished soup to a slow cooker and take it along to a party or event. Keep it on low or on the warm setting for serving.

Recipe Variations

  • For some extra texture and flavor, add 1 can of diced tomatoes to the soup along with the tomato sauce.
  • For extra color, add a cup of corn kernels to the soup shortly before it is ready.
  • Add 1/2 cup of multicolored chopped bell peppers along with the onions.