This ham and white bean soup recipe is hearty, delicious, healthy, and simple to make! It's great for using up leftover ham.
This recipe was originally published on December 19, 2017. I've republished it with updated photos, more useful post text, and I've tweaked the recipe to make it better.
You don't need to use leftover ham for this one (just buy a piece from any grocery store), but if you've roasted a ham for Easter or Christmas, this is a great way to enjoy those leftovers if you're over sandwiches.
This ham and bean soup with canned beans is one of those soups that gets better the longer you leave it. The flavors intensify and the leftovers are just really good.
How to make ham and bean soup (summary)
Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots for 7-10 minutes (some light browning is good as it adds flavor) in a fairly large soup pot. Stir in the garlic, followed by the Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, chicken broth, ham, and white beans. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover (lid slightly open), and simmer the soup for at least 20 minutes. The soup will get more flavorful the longer it's cooked, so you can definitely go a bit longer! (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- You can use a different variety of canned beans if you choose (e.g. great northern or navy beans will work).
- If you want to use dried beans, soak them overnight. Just cover them in water then rinse them off before adding them to the soup.
- You can definitely throw a ham bone in here! That'll make it taste even better. Or use a ham hock.
- If you're sensitive to salt, use low sodium chicken broth or water. Ham can be quite salty, so wait until the end and taste before adding any extra salt to this recipe.
- Try swapping the Italian seasoning for 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme if you prefer. Or use a couple sprigs of fresh thyme. You could also throw a bay leaf or two in here for extra flavor.
- This soup freezes well, and it'll last 3-5 days in the fridge.
- I added a bit of fresh parsley for the photos, but that's totally optional.
More delicious ham recipes to try:
- Easy Ham and Corn Chowder
- Ham Salad
- Ham and Potato Soup (Dairy-Free)
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup (with ham OR vegetarian)
- One Pot Ham and Pea Pasta
- Dill Pickle Soup with Smoked Ham
Hope you love this easy white bean and ham soup recipe!
Easy Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped finely
- 1 large carrot peeled & chopped small
- 3 sticks celery chopped small
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups cooked ham chopped (or more to taste)
- 2 (14 fluid ounce) cans white beans drained
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Sauté the onions, carrot, and celery for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally (a little browning is good).
- Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, chicken broth, water, ham, and white beans to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium (or medium low if it's bubbling too much), cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar, and let the soup simmer for 20-25 minutes (the flavor will intensify the longer you cook it so feel free to cook it for a bit longer).
- Season with salt & pepper to taste. Ham can be quite salty, so be sure to add salt after it's cooked if you think it needs it. Optional: Take a potato masher and mash some of the beans right in the pot to create a slightly thicker texture or pulse an immersion blender a few times.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth if sensitive to salt.
- Crockpot method: try 8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
- Instant Pot method: try 10 minutes on high pressure with a natural release.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.