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spoon full of ham and white bean soup in bowl of soup

Ham and White Bean Soup

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This thick and hearty bean and ham soup is brimming with tender beans, veggies, and smoky ham. Make it with a holiday ham bone or use smoked ham hocks to add richness and meaty smoky flavor.


  • 1 pound bag dried white beans such as Great Northern or Navy Beans
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine, optional
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large or 2 small smoked ham hocks or 1 ham bone (optional, see note)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Place beans on a sheet pan, and sort them by running handfuls across the pan as you scan. Remove any rocks or foreign debris. 
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover them generously with water. Let soak at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Drain well and rinse. 
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrots, celery, onion, oregano, thyme, paprika, and salt. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables start to soften and brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add sherry and stir to deglaze any browned bits from the bottom of the cooking surface. Add stock broth, beans, ham (hock or bone), bay leaves, and pepper and stir to combine. 
  5. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Cover with the lid askew to vent. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are very tender and the ham falls off the bone, 2 to 3 hours depending on the beans. 
  6. Take out the bay leaves, ham bone, and chunks of ham with tongs. Pick any bits of ham off the bone(s). Discard bones and any chunks of fat.
  7. Add the shredded ham to the soup. Stir in with parsley and lemon, and adjust seasoning to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve hot.


Leftovers and Reheating

Store any leftover ham and bean soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave until hot all the way through. On the second day the soup will be thicker, so you may want to add a little water or broth to thin it out.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Category: Soups and Stews
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 317
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 63 g
  • Fiber: 26 g
  • Protein: 24 g
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