White Bean and Ham Soup is a one-pot, easy recipe that’s the whole family loves and is ready to serve in 30 minutes. Using canned beans, veggies, and little chunks of ham, this simple and flavorful old-fashioned soup will set you up for a few days of satisfying meals!
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Ham and Bean Soup
Once the holiday festivities are over, I always look forward to leftovers! I’ll have a repeat meal the next day and ham sandwiches but after that, soup’s on!
However, when it comes to using leftover holiday ham, making this bean soup is something I look forward to every year!
A large bowl of cozy hearty soup is just the thing that grounds me, warms me, and fills me up!
It’s delicious and so easy to make which is a relief because, after the hustle and bustle of creating a holiday menu, the last thing I want to be doing is making something complicated!
- Olive oil: I usually have olive oil on hand, so it’s pretty much a given that I’ll use it. However, you can also use avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Mirepoix: A trio of onion, celery, and carrots that get cooked together to become the base layer of flavors in the soup. They also provide texture as they become nice and tender.
- Garlic, Bay leaf, fresh thyme: Aromatics that provide even more flavor. A soup so simple yet has many tasty elements! You can omit the bay leaves if that’s a flavor you can do without.
- Chicken stock: The liquid component of the soup. Use either store-bought or homemade, whatever you have on hand. You can also use vegetable stock instead.
- Cannellini white beans: High in fiber and protein with a buttery texture, these creamy white beans are the best. Make sure they’re drained and rinsed before using them.
- Cooked ham: I always take the opportunity to throw in leftover Instant Pot ham or pineapple honey glazed ham, but you don’t need to wait for the holidays to make this white bean and ham soup. You can use store-bought boneless ham steak too!
1. Instead of oil, you can use butter, if preferred. It’s a bit heavier but also more flavorful.
2. To add a bit more seasoning, think about adding in a bit of coriander, paprika (smoked or regular), or Italian seasoning. Just not all at the same time!
3. Add a little crumbled bacon.
4. You can also use Great Northern beans, white kidney beans, black-eyed peas, or Navy beans if you don’t have cannellini.
5. For a bit of spice, you can add red pepper flakes, a pinch of cayenne, or a bit of Tabasco sauce.
6. Some people like to add diced tomatoes to their soup. Go ahead and try that. Then wilt some leafy greens in at the end like kale or spinach.
7. For a creamier soup, add ½ milk or heavy cream with the ham at the end.
If you used a bone-in ham, add the ham bone into the soup for extra seasoning too!
Can I use dry beans in this recipe?
Yes, you can! Just be sure to soak the beans overnight first in a big bowl of cold water. Then use the soaked beans as you would the can of beans. They will take a little longer to cook so you may have to adjust the cook time by 15 minutes or so.
How to Make this White Bean Soup Recipe
This recipe will come together in a few steps in just over 30 minutes. Grab a large pot and your ingredients and let’s get started.
Step 1: Heat the oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Then cook the onion, celery, and carrots over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally.
Step 2: Add the minced garlic and thyme to cook for 1 minute. Then, add the chicken stock, drained beans, ham, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
Step 3: Reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for 15 minutes until warmed through. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serve with some crackers or a slice of crusty bread to soak up all that yummy broth.
- This soup is even better the next day! The starch from the beans will thicken it up a bit by then, so feel free to add a splash more broth if you want to keep it a thinner broth.
- If you like a thicker broth, like a stew, feel free to remove some of the beans from the soup, mash them up with a potato masher, then return them to the pot. (You can also use an immersion blender if you have one).
- For a little extra something, serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and some crunchy croutons.
- This is a hearty soup, so all you’d need to complete it is a side salad or a slice of bread.
- Dice the carrots, celery, and onions no larger than the diced ham or beans. They’re not the stars of the show, just the supporting characters!
Once cooled, store the soup in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
This also makes it a great make-ahead soup. Prepare it the day before and heat it when you’re ready to eat it!
You can! This is a great soup to make a big pot of and freeze half for down the road. You can freeze leftovers in a container or freezer-bag (saves space!) for up to 3 days.
If frozen, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.
White Bean and Ham Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- ½ cup carrots diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cans Cannellini white beans drained and rinsed (15.5 ounce cans)
- 2 cups cooked ham diced
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat2 tablespoons olive oil
- Then add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally until they are tender.½ cup onion, ½ cup celery, ½ cup carrots
- Next, add the minced garlic and thyme and cook for an additional minute.1 tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Add the chicken stock, beans, diced ham, and the bay leaf.4 cups chicken stock, 2 cans Cannellini white beans, 2 cups cooked ham, 1 bay leaf
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes until warmed through.
- Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with salt and pepper.