2 ratings

Ham and Bean Soup

A great way to use that leftover ham bone
Ham and Bean Soup recipe - The Daily Meal
Rashaun Rucker/Detroit Free Press/MCT

A ham is loved for more than just its meat — the bone is great for making soup. After dinner, once the ham is pretty much picked over, cut up any big chunks of meat still attached to the bone into bite-size pieces along with any leftover slices. The chopped ham and the meaty bone can go into a freezer bag and into the freezer, to save to make this delicious soup. —Susan M. Selasky

This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Susan M. Selasky of the Detroit Free Press, and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
3 h
15 m
(prepare time)
2 h and 45 m
(cook time)


When it came to making the soup, I skipped using dried beans because I had a jar of Great Northern beans on hand. You can substitute 1 pound dried navy or other favorite white bean in this recipe. Dried beans are best soaked overnight — they will triple in size. If you're in a hurry, follow the quick soak method on the package.


For the stock:

  • 1 meaty hambone from a leftover ham
  • 16 Cups water
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery, with leaves, cut into chunks

For the soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups leftover diced ham
  • 1 jar (32 ounces) Great Northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 Cup chopped parsley (optional)


For the stock:

Step 1: Into a large stockpot, place 1 hambone, 16 cups water, 5 sprigs parsley, 1 medium onion (quartered), 2 peeled carrots (cut into chunks) and 2 ribs celery (cut into chunks). Place over medium heat until it just begins to bubble. Cover slightly; reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding more water if needed.

Step 2: Remove the bone; reserve. Strain the stock; return to stockpot. Pick off any meat from the bone, discarding fat; chop the meat.

For the soup:

Step 1: In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add 1 large chopped onion, 2 large sliced carrots and 3 sliced ribs of celery. Cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the stock, 1 1/2 to 2 cups leftover diced ham and any ham from the bone, and 1 jar (32 ounces) rinsed and drained Great Northern beans; heat over medium heat. Simmer until carrots are softened, about 45 minutes.

Step 3: Just before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste; stir in 1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional).