Ham and Bean Soup Recipe

January 28, 2023

Ham and bean soup is a classic recipe made with simple ingredients. To prepare, simmer ham hocks or diced ham in a pot with soaked and drained navy beans, vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots, and seasonings such as thyme and bay leaves. Add water as needed, and cook until the beans are tender.

How to make Ham and Bean Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 8 oz. diced ham
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 pieces celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini or navy beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley


1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the ham. Cook until it is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. 

2. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the Dutch oven. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook 2 more minutes. 

3. Add the stock, beans, and bay leaf, if using. Using kitchen twine, tie the thyme in a bundle and add to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to a low simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, to thicken slightly and let the flavors come together. 

4. Remove the bundle of thyme and bay leaf. Add the black pepper then season with more salt to taste. Serve soup in bowls and top with parsley. 

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