Fall recipes

Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe

If you’re looking for a comforting and delicious meal that’s both easy to prepare and satisfying, look no further than this step-by-step guide on making a delectable ham and bean soup. This classic dish brings together the rich flavors of leftover ham, creamy beans, and aromatic vegetables. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients You’ll Need:

To create this flavorful ham and bean soup, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 small parsnip, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • ½ lb (250 g) leftover ham, diced
  • 1 can (14 oz /400 g) navy beans or cannellini beans
  • ½ lb (250 g) potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 cups (1.25 liters) chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Follow these simple steps to create a delicious ham and bean soup:

  1. Prepare the Vegetables: In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery, and parsnip. Sauté the vegetables for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become tender and fragrant.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  2. Add Aromatic Flavors: Once the vegetables are tender, add the finely chopped garlic and fresh thyme to the pot. Continue to cook for an additional minute, allowing the flavors to meld and the aroma to develop.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  3. Incorporate Leftover Ham: Stir in the diced leftover ham, adding a savory and smoky depth to the soup. The ham’s saltiness will enhance the overall taste of the dish.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  4. Add Beans and Potatoes: Gently pour in the can of navy beans or cannellini beans, including the liquid. Then, add the cubed potatoes to the pot. These hearty ingredients will contribute to the soup’s satisfying texture.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  5. Pour in Chicken Stock: Pour the chicken stock into the pot, making sure to cover all the ingredients. The stock will provide a rich and flavorful base for the soup. Drop in the bay leaves, adding a subtle herbal note to the soup. Bay leaves infuse their essence into the broth as it simmers.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  6. Simmer to Perfection: Increase the heat to bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Let the soup cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  7. Final Touches: As the soup finishes cooking, stir in the fresh parsley. Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. These final touches will elevate the flavors of the dish.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Your ham and bean soup is now ready to be enjoyed. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and serve it alongside some crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Recipe


  1. Can I use different types of beans for this recipe? Absolutely! While navy beans and cannellini beans work wonderfully, you can experiment with other beans like pinto or kidney beans for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
  2. Can I substitute the leftover ham with another protein? Certainly! If you prefer a different protein, such as cooked chicken or sausage, feel free to make the swap while keeping the other ingredients and steps unchanged.
  3. Is this soup freezer-friendly? Yes, this soup can be frozen for later enjoyment. Allow the soup to cool before transferring it to airtight containers. Thaw and reheat as needed.
  4. Can I use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for a vegetarian version? Absolutely! Switching to vegetable stock will create a satisfying vegetarian version of this soup without compromising on taste.
  5. What other herbs can I use besides thyme? If you’re looking to switch up the flavor profile, consider using rosemary or oregano instead of thyme. Each herb will impart its own unique aroma to the dish.
  6. Can I make this soup in advance for a gathering? Definitely! This soup’s flavors tend to meld and improve over time. Making it a day in advance and reheating before serving can enhance its taste.

Incorporating the heartwarming flavors of leftover ham, creamy beans, and aromatic vegetables, this ham and bean soup recipe is a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire. Following these easy step-by-step instructions, you can create a comforting and delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re preparing a cozy family dinner or impressing guests at a gathering, this soup is sure to please with its rich flavors and satisfying textures.

Jessy Lion

From the heart of my bustling kitchen, I, Jessy Lion, share my love for food, bringing a wealth of 25 years of culinary experience to your table. Aged 40, my life revolves around not just cooking, but also cherishing, and crafting unique experiences around food.

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