Ham And Bean Soup
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Ham And Bean Soup

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Did you grow up with ham and bean soup as a common meal offering? You may have used a ham hock like I am today, or maybe some leftover ham pieces. Either way, it works! I had some ham and bean soup with cornbread on the side as my dinner out recently, I enjoyed it so much I thought I better update this post so I can remind all my readers about how delicious that combination can be.

Our family likes simple recipes. Let me know what else you add to your homemade soup to make it more flavorful, to add color, or to satisfy your desire to make meals more healthy.

Today, I put this soup in the slow cooker since I’ve found that approach frees up some time, prompts a consistent cooking temperature for the meat, and I’m confident the beans and veggies will be fully cooked.

I have a busy day planned and this way I can do the things I need to do while dinner cooks. First, I chopped up some onions, celery, and carrots and sprinkled them over the ham hock. Next, I added some chicken broth I had in the pantry, but I have used plain water before as well. Add some spices and you have a delicious soup all will enjoy.

Ham And Bean Soup

Ham And Bean Soup

Items You May Need In Your Kitchen

In case you missed this post, How To Make Cornbread From Scratch

Ham and Bean Soup Recipe

Fill The Slow Cooker

Add the canned beans 2 hours before serving. Yes, you can use dried beans, but I have some canned ones for today. You can add Navy Beans, White Beans, or Kidney Beans. I used only Navy Beans today.

One thing I learned from a friend by the name of Shauna, she adds Sweet Basil to all her soups. That’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned. I use it all the time when making any soup. Thank you, Shauna.

Yesterday, Mark and I had some friends over for ham, mashed potatoes, peas, and jello with a can of fruit cocktail. I had some yummy sourdough bread to serve with it as well. After we finished eating, two of the woman said to me, “What are you going to do with that ham hock?”

You have to laugh because you know we all like to make soup with it, right? I mentioned I would be making ham and bean soup today. You gotta love it!

Do you remember your family serving ham and bean soup growing up? My mom would add another can or two of the beans to make the soup stretch to serve more people in case an unexpected guest showed up at the door. I highly recommend storing beans that are dry or in cans. We will use them, I promise.

Read More of My Articles  Our Favorite Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Ideas

If you’ve read many of my posts over the years, you know I consider beans to be one of the basic food storage items we all should have in our pantry or on our long-term storage shelves. They come in handy for so many meals and they can be stored longer than many other staples we like to have stored.

Ham And Bean Soup

5 from 7 votes
Ham And Bean Soup
Ham and Bean Soup by FSM
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
7 hrs
Total Time
7 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
  • 1 ham hock or some leftover ham pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stocks of celery, chopped
  • 1-2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 32-ounce carton chicken broth
  • Sweet Basil to taste
  • Parsley to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 16-ounce cans White Navy Beans, drained
  1. I used a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker today. Place the ham hock or ham pieces in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the vegetables over the meat. Add the broth and spices. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Add the beans two hours before serving. Heat through and serve. This soup freezes well.

Cornbread Recipe

Do you love homemade cornbread served with your ham and bean soup? I’ve grown to love cornbread. I not only enjoy its flavor but also that it can be added to so many meals to provide a special touch I want.

5 from 3 votes
Cut Cornbread in Cast Iron
Cornbread Recipe by Food Storage Moms
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Linda Loosli
  • 1 cup white flour (I use bread flour)
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8-inch cast-iron pan or 9-inch round cake pan. Place the cast-iron pan in the oven so it heats up while you mix all of the ingredients. I combined all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl to distribute them evenly. Then I added the melted butter, the egg, buttermilk, and the sour cream. Then you mix thoroughly, but do not overmix. Remove the cast-iron pan from the oven. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with butter or honey butter.

Can You Use Different Kinds of Beans in this Soup?

As mentioned above, beans are a very versatile and healthy ingredient in soups. I think the bean you use in your ham and bean soup is really a personal preference. I hadn’t realized it, but there is actually a 15 Bean Soup that some people say is very delicious. I have a lot of beans in my pantry, but I’d be hard-pressed to come up with 15 varieties

As the cooler temperatures set in with the winter months ahead, be creative in your soup meal plans and try various types so you can experience the many flavors and textures within the bean family. You’ll probably end up with a bunch of “favorites.”

Read More of My Articles  The Best Overnight Breakfast Casseroles

Are There Other Cornbread Recipes to Try?

If you were to go to the internet today you’d see a whole bunch of cornbread recipe offerings. I guess in some circles it’s a common source of meal prep debate. Some like the Southern Cornbread version that’s often made with bacon grease, has more cornmeal in the ingredients, could include some butter and is usually made in a cast-iron skillet.

It’s Northern or Yankee Cornbread cousin often has a regular flour component, a touch of sugar, and can have other things like an egg added to change the flavor and texture.

If you like your cornbread to be less crumbly and hold its shape and texture better, you may want to steer more towards the Yankee recipe.

Also, note that cornbread flour can come in white or yellow versions. I think they taste pretty much the same, but you MIGHT find the texture slightly different. Give both a try and see what you think.

How Long Can I Store My Leftovers?

I try to make the various soup recipes I write about so they don’t have a lot of leftovers to deal with. You for sure need to put any soup leftovers in the fridge. They should be fine there for a few days, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving them a week or longer.

If you don’t eat them in the next few days, consider freezing them. They should be good for a few months if frozen in air-tight containers. The meat is especially susceptible to spoilage, so if you have leftover soup with meat ingredients, be sure to take precautions.

Depending on the ingredients used, most remaining cornbread can be left on your counter for a few days. I’d suggest you cover it or put it in a bag for storage to try and reduce the amount it dries out. You can also freeze your leftover cornbread.

It should stay good for a couple of months, if not longer. As with many other breadlike products, the freezing process tends to make it even more crumbly, so plan on wrapping the leftovers and then using the crumbs in another recipe to get the best use out of the frozen cornbread.

One thing I would suggest since so many holiday meals will be prepared over the next few weeks is to consider using the cornbread crumbs to make your favorite turkey stuffing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s meals.

Final Word

This is an easy ham and bean soup recipe which will be perfect to make if a disaster were to hit your neighborhood, a warm friendly meal if you want to invite neighbors over, or just to feed a hungry family meal after everyone returns from work, school, or other activities.

You can grab a Dutch oven and let the soup bake outside on some charcoal if you’d like a unique family adventure on a pleasant summer evening. It’s filling and delicious. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. Please keep prepping with water, food, and learn some new skills. May God bless this world. Linda

Leftover Ham Ideas

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  1. I love ham and bean soup! It looks like I make it the same way you do with the same ingredients. The exception is that I always cooked the ham hock in water so I had ham stock rather than chicken stock. Definitely something that I can eat day after day!

    Growing up, mom made hers with lima beans. Cannot say I am crazy for lima beans but I do have fond memories of eating it this way.

    I have leftover ham and I have beans! Just need to get the other ingredients and I am good to go. Perhaps today will be the day I make my soup.

  2. 5 stars
    Here’s my take on it. I do vary it sometimes as far as spicing and dry vs. canned beans but here’s the basic recipe I start with.

    Ham & Bean Soup

    Ham Bone w/ about 1 lb. of meat
    2 15oz. Cans White Northern Beans
    3 Onions
    4 Potatoes
    3 stalks of Celery
    4 Carrots
    2 tsp. chopped Garlic
    2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
    1 Tsp. Dried Thyme
    ½ Tsp. Dry Mustard
    2 dashes Tabasco sauce

    Cover Ham bone in large sauce pan with water and boil for 1-2 hours. Meat should fall off of bone easily. Chop vegetables into bite size pieces. Strain meat. Retain juice. Remove excess fat, bones, and other undesirables from the strained meat. Return juice and meat to pan. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered 2-4 hours. Serve

    1. Hi Jessica, dried beans have to be cooked. This recipe uses canned beans. Just cook the beans and add them as the recipe states 2 hours before serving. Dried beans would be awesome. Linda

  3. We love ham and beans at our house. I like “plain” cornbread but sometimes make jalapeño cornbread for variety. My son adds hot sauce to his bowl of soup. He loves spicy food so the hot sauce gets a workout when he is here. Yes, simple foods are the best!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made ham and pinto beans. So good! I do like Lima beans. I grew up eating the, with ham in them. So good. Let’s face it. I like almost all beans. Not crazy about Garbanzo beans though. That’s the only bean I can think of that I don’t care for.

    I love soup and cornbread of all kinds. I don’t put much sugar in my cornbread. Just a tablespoon full. I make it like my grandmother made it. Yum. She was such a good cook. She made what she called stewed potatoes. Boil the potatoes and make a sauce with milk and flour (I use instant potatoes) to thicken the sauce. So good. She’d sometimes cook noodles and make the same sauce. My grandmother was born in 1901. She lived to be almost 102. I miss her.

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks for the 5 stars!! Hugs! Oh, I love hearing about recipes our grandmothers made. 102 years old!! Love it! I’m going to try your trick with instant potatoes, thanks for the idea! I don’t remember my mom making stewed potatoes, but I love any kind of soup. Linda

      1. Linda, I love all kinds of soup as well. My g’ma used to serve the stewed potatoes with cornbread. We’d put the potatoes and juice over the cornbread. I thicken any homemade soup with instant potatoes. I also love pinto beans over cornbread. I learned a lot of cooking tips from my g’ma and mother, too. Mother was born in 1928.

          1. You are more than welcome. This is what friends and family does, share tips and ideas. I’ve learned so much from you and this group. I share what know.

  5. Boy this looks so good. I was looking for a recipe for a soup tonight since the weather here is getting cooler. I just so happen to have all of these ingredients and cooker. Thanks Linda.

    1. Hi Judy, it really is that time of year, soup, soup, and more soup. My crockpot is packed in a storage unit so I bought another one so I can make soup while we live with our daughter waiting for our small home to be built. I thought she had one but it broke. I have to have a slow cooker. Enjoy, Linda

  6. 5 stars
    I love bean soup and look forward to trying yours Linda. My father is Italian and we always served our soup with torn Italian bread in the bottom of the bowl and the soup on top. Nothing better!

      1. I like cornbread in the bottom of my soup bowl, but wheat crackers will do in a pinch. LOL

        We went to the grocery store Sunday, and they had very few crackers of any kind. And no wheat crackers at all. ☹️
        It was the first time I’ve seen empty shelves this year.

    1. Hi Ray, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend!! Hugs! I love dried beans but sometimes I’m a bit lazy. I love love love pinto beans. Life is so good when you are raised on beans and cornbread, you can survive anything! Linda

  7. Bean soup is so good, I don’t make it nearly often enough! It was definitely a regular on our winter table growing up.

    I like how your readers recommended using instant potatoes to thicken up soups. I do that too! Occasionally if I’m making chili and it gets a bit liquidy I add a can of refried beans.

  8. This looks delicious! You inspired me! I made 2 pots of soup (veg/beef and cx, spinach and white bean) with what we had on hand. I didn’t have time to dig out my ham bone but I’m saving this recipe. A few ideas that might help some folks: I buy boneless, skinless chicken breast when it goes on sale and cook it in my instant. Then we shred it and divide it up into gallon freezer bags. I toss it in the chest freezer and it makes quick prep for many meals. I also cook ground beef ahead of time, adding chopped onions and garlic, them drain and freeze the same way. Today I simply pulled out a bag of both meats and made soups. We even had the privilege of sharing a quart with a new neighbor. Thanks for all you do here Linda!! Ps. I also sometimes chop an extra onion and freeze it so I can ease dinner prep. Your hands are already all onion-y and it’s nice to grab the bag and dump it in the skillet.

    1. Hi Steff, thank you for your kind words!! You are so nice! I love freezing chopped onions! I also buy frozen chopped onions when they go on sale. Isn’t it wonderful how we can throw dinner together in minutes when we have prepped ahead of time by filling our freezer with precooked meats?? I love homemade soup! Linda

  9. *Love* ham and bean soup. Filling, and tasty!

    Something that just occurred to me–when I make chili, I often include chick peas, which just makes a nice variation to the texture. (Doesn’t hurt that I love chick peas!) I’m going to try some in a ham and bean soup, too.

    And for boosting flavor and nutrition… Any time we have barbecued ribs (at home or a restaurant) the bones get saved and tucked in the freezer. When I make a big batch of pea soup with ham to pressure can, I use those bones, making sure at least one bone goes in each jar. When a jar is opened and the soup heated, the bone will be quite soft–so we know lots of minerals had to come out in the soup! Wonder if those could also be used in ham and bean soup. Certainly worth a try! (And the soft bones finish up with the chickens, who peck them all to bits!)

    1. Hi Rhonda, I’m so glad you love ham and bean soup! Me too! I never thought to save the barbecued ribs, oh my gosh! I love chickpeas too! I can almost see your chickens pecking them!! Love it! Linda

  10. 5 stars
    Linda – thanks for reposting this. As soon as the leaves start falling (aka Autumn), I start thinking soup and stew!! Ham and beans and beef stew are always my go to meals during the fall and winter. Being single, I tend to cook smaller portions though. I can take a can of navy beans (haven’t yet mastered using dry beans and making just a small batch!!) and a small ham steak and a few other ingredients, pop all in my 3 quart slow cooker and WOW! Love it!!

    1. Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, a ham steak is a great idea! Isn’t the 3-quart slow cooker the best size ever? I love using cans of beans, quick and easy! Yay for stews and soups! Linda

  11. Thanks for recipe…just put white beans in crock pot to cook…..3 cups water to 1 cup beans…I do this for all my dry beans…..I drain and bag for freezer….will have this recipe for tomorrow’s meal. I have canned ham and ham flavoring that should work just as well as a hock…

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