The deep and robust taste of cooked ham with its smoky goodness makes a perfect base for soup. Winter is fast approaching, and it is the season for baked ham.
In my family, baked ham is a staple. We may even have it for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Sometimes we have leftovers and making slow cooker Ham and bean soup is the best idea ever. But you don’t have to wait until the holidays to make it.
You can buy a bone-in shank portion of ham and have it any time. Beans make the soup hearty and filling, and the aroma in the kitchen, while the soup is slowly cooking, is amazing.
It smells of the holidays, and your soul is filled with the warmest of feelings.
Soup season mode is on! If you enjoy making soup on the crockpot, check out Paula Deen’s Crockpot Potato Soup, Crockpot Taco Soup, and Homemade Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup. They are all amazingly delicious too!
Ham and Bean soup ingredients
- Bone-in ham: I didn’t have any leftover ham, so I bought a bone-in shank portion of ham. All you have to do is remove the meat and cube it.
- 15 bean soup mix: some people soak the beans overnight, but I find that 8 hours in the slow-cooker are enough to cook the beans and make them tender. So I skipped this part.
- Chicken broth: buy a good quality reduced-sodium chicken broth.
- Yellow onion: you can use white onion. I happen to like the sweetness of yellow onion better.
- Celery: onions, carrots, and celery are the perfect base for any soup. These three veggies are considered the holy trinity in many cuisines.
- Parsley: is a universal herb. It can be used to flavor so many things, and soup is not the exception.
- Powdered garlic: honestly, I don’t like to bite into a piece of garlic when eating soup, so using powdered garlic is way better than fresh garlic.
- Bay leaf: is a must whenever you are cooking soups or stews. It is easily removable when they are done cooking and imparts great flavor.
- Freshly ground pepper: spices can lose their flavor over time, so I never buy ground pepper. I prefer freshly ground. It keeps fresh longer.
How To Make Ham and Bean Soup In The Crockpot
- This recipe is so easy. The hardest part is taking the meat off the ham shank, which is also easy. So remove the meat from the bone, cube it and add it to the crockpot along with the chopped onions, carrots, and celery.
- Pour in the chicken broth and water, and add the powdered garlic, bay leaves, and freshly ground pepper. I didn’t feel the need to add more salt because the ham is already salty, but you can check the seasoning mid-cooking and adjust accordingly.
- Set the slow-cooker to low and cook the soup for 8 hours. Remove the bones before serving.
How Do You Thicken Ham and Bean Soup?
I didn’t feel the need to thicken the soup.
In the 15 bean mix, there are lentils included, and these cook fast, so once the 8 hours are over, the lentils will most certainly be dissolved into the broth, and they will thicken the soup for you.
This soup is heavy enough with all the beans to add even more thickeners like flour or cornstarch.
What To Serve with Ham and Bean Soup?
This soup has meat, beans, and veggies, so it is a complete meal in itself. But what is soup without bread, right?
So while the soup is cooking, I like to bake fresh bread. I love the following recipes: Homemade cheese bread, soft no yeast bread, Focaccia Bread, Homemade Bakery French Bread, or my all-time favorite, Dutch Oven No-Knead Bread crusty on the outside and soft inside. You will become as addicted to it as I am!
Can You Freeze Ham and Bean Soup?
Yes, you can. When you thaw it, you might find that some of the beans will be softer, but this doesn’t mean it won’t be as delicious. So place it in an airtight container, label it with the date, and freeze it for up to 4 months.
- If you don’t want the excess fat that comes with the ham, let the soup cool down, put it in the fridge for a few hours, and remove the fat that will float to the surface and harden.
- Cutting the veggies all roughly the same size makes the soup look great
- If you are nervous about the beans not cooking properly, soak them for a few hours before. I think the 8 hours of slow-cooking are enough to make them tender and perfectly cooked.
More Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Aguadito De Pollo Peruvian Chicken Soup
- Crack Chicken Noodle Soup
- Black-eyed Pea Soup
Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 Ham bone
- 3 cups of cubed ham (fully cooked) or 1- 2.5 lb bone-in ham shank
- 1 - 8oz package of 15-bean soup mix
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon powdered garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Into the pot of the slow cooker, add the ham bones, cubed ham, onion, carrots, celery, and bean mix.
- Pour chicken broth and water over ham and veggies and add the powdered garlic, bay leaf, parsley, and pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours.