You’ve ordered a bone-in ham for the holidays and you will have plenty of leftovers. Don’t send them home with anyone! Use the leftover ham, bone and all, to make our savory ham and bean soup for tomorrow’s meal. Prepare it in 30 minutes then cook it all day—you’ll have plenty of time to kick your feet up and relax.
You don’t want to cheat when it comes to letting this hearty soup simmer so long—it’s the only way to bring out the full flavor of smoky ham paired with just the right amount of salt. The key to this soup is to add bouillon cubes and additional salt after the soup has almost finished cooking. It will actually prevent it from becoming too salty from the water evaporation.
Great flavor’s not the only reason to enjoy this soup—it’s got navy beans loaded with protein, iron and of course, fiber (need we say more?). These low-cal veggies are also super inexpensive per serving, which is perfect for feeding a crowd.
When the next chilly day calls for something hot and hearty, use your leftovers and try this ham and bean soup recipe.
Serve this soup recipe in a fancy homemade bread bowl!
Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
- 1 lb navy beans, dry
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 ham bone, or smoked ham hock
- 1-2 lbs ham, diced
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 1 lb bag baby carrots, cut in half or thirds
- 4 cubes chicken bouillon
- 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp savory
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Pour the navy beans onto a large baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer. This is an easy way to find all of those little stones and undesirable beans that need to be plucked out.
- Transfer the beans from the baking sheet to a large bowl and submerge them in water until you’re ready for them.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook about 3 minutes until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking an additional 30 seconds.
- Once the garlic has had a chance to cook, pour in the chicken broth and water.
- Next, drain and rinse your beans under cool water. Allow the excess water to drain then add them to the pot. Place the ham bone or ham hock into the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Once the soup has simmered, add the potatoes, carrots, bouillon cubes, poultry seasoning and savory. Cover the pot and allow the soup to cook for an additional 2-3 hours.
- When the soup has simmered most of the day, test the beans and vegetables for tenderness. Give it one final taste test for salt and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve with a nice crusty bread or crackers.
Adding bouillon cubes and additional salt after the soup is almost finished cooking prevents it from getting too salty.