Still Hamming it Up – Ham & Bean Soup

Ham & Bean Soup 2

With winter having finally arrived in Minnesota, and a stash of  leftover ham (even after making the Scalloped Potatoes & Ham) I was inspired to cook up a pot of Ham & Bean Soup.  A variety of fresh vegetables and herbs, pair up with a 15 bean mix and meaty ham bone to make this hearty soup. I did find myself in dire straights however…

when I tried to add my bounty of soup to the freezer.  My freezer was crammed with everything from Benne’s Veni chili, to Turkey Pot Pie, Turkey Tortilla Casserole, Scalloped Potatoes & Ham and now a boat load soup. Clearly the holidays has greatly increased our food reserves! People often ask if I cook a major meal every day. As much as I would enjoy that, because I dearly love the creative process of cooking, that’s not my reality. These meals, packaged for 1, allow us to select what we’d each like to eat throughout the week. My cooking is typically driven by my love of entertaining, or by a recipe I happen upon along the way. Does anyone else take pictures of magazine recipes in waiting rooms, like I do? Let me know by commenting on Its Thyme 2 Cook. I’d love to know there are kindred spirits out there that relentlessly troll for recipes like I do!

Ham & Bean Soup

Serving Size: 12 servings


  • 1 20 ounce package dried 15 bean mix (or whatever multi-bean mix you can find)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (1 medium)
  • 8 - 10 cups low sodium or regular chicken broth
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery (3 ribs)
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 meaty ham bone or smoked ham hock (should be able to yield 2 cups or so of chopped ham after cooking)
  • 1 14 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon (2-3 tablespoons)


  • Rinse beans and place in large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, cover pan and let stand 8 hours. Drain beans.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.
  • Add beans, 8 cups broth and remaining ingredients, except lemon juice and bring to a boil.Cover and reduce heat and summer for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove ham bone or ham hock from soup and cool slightly. Remove meat from bones and shred or chop. Return meat to pan. Discard bone, skin and fat and bay leaf. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • Simmer additional 10-15 minutes. If soup seems to thick, add some, or all of additional 2 cups of broth.Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary (additional salt, pepper or lemon juice.)

2 thoughts on “Still Hamming it Up – Ham & Bean Soup

  1. Oh my gosh, I remember tearing out recipe pages from magazines too! I had all but forgot about that little misdeed until you brought it up. Thankfully our smart phones have saved us from a life of petty crime! I have seen the movie Chef and loved it as well. I do believe we are kindred spirits when it comes to all things, cooking. It’s people like us that inspired my blog subtitle – “For people who cook because it’s in their soul.” Thanks for you comment!

  2. I do take pictures from magazine articles. I remember years ago, before the day of the I Phone, looking over my shoulder to see who was about before tearing the page fr the book. I also totally enjoy movies based around the kitchen and cooking. We watched the movie “Chef” on New Year’s Day . Found it on Netflix. I highly recommend it. 👍

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