Ham and Bean Soup with lots of vegetables is a totally delicious, different and healthy way to use leftover ham from your earlier ham dinner.
A ham dinner is special and often the meal of choice at the holidays, but usually you buy so much of it (because the price is right) and now after your amazing dinner, what to do with all that leftover ham? This Ham and Bean Soup is a perfect solution because in addition to the Cannellini beans, it’s full of healthy vegetables.
Not only is this a totally different meal from your earlier Ham dinner, but one bowl of this soup is a meal in itself. And I have to tell you the flavor is absolutely amazing.
So let’s make it.
Ingredients of Ham and Bean Soup
- Olive oil: For health and flavor
- Shallot: The first ingredient in a Mirepoix for great soup
- Celery: The second ingredient in a Mirepoix
- Carrots: The third ingredient in a Mirepoix
- Garlic: For health and extra flavor
- Ham: The Star of the Show
- Cannellini Beans: The Co-star of the Show
- Bay leaves: For earthy flavor
- Low sodium chicken broth: Manischewitz tastes the most like homemade
- Thyme: For mild Mediterranean flavor
- Oregano: A compliment to thyme for rich Mediterranean flavor
- Sea salt: Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. A little goes a long way.
How to Make Ham Soup with Beans
This soup is actually very easy to make. Like all good soups, the hardest part is waiting for all those wonderful flavors to simmer together but trust me, it’s worth the wait,
The first step is to caramelize the vegetables for extra depth of flavor. Begin by adding olive oil to a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the vegetables from burning.
Then add the garlic. Garlic burns very easily so it really only needs to cook about 1 minute.
Next, add diced ham, the bay leaves, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Then pour the chicken broth into the pot, reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pot.
Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes and then add the drained Cannellini beans. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer another 30 minutes.
Finally, remove the bay leaves and ladle the soup into bowls.
Notes on the Ingredients
You can certainly substitute fresh thyme and oregano, just use twice the amount.
Cannellini beans, the Mediterranean long white beans, are best in this recipe, but if you can’t find them substitute Great Northern White Beans.
I wouldn’t keep this soup over 2 days in the refrigerator, but this soup freezes beautifully. Make sure the soup is cooled first, then either pour it into small plastic freezer containers or even use quart sized zip lock freezer bags. Just fill them up, zip them up securely and lay them flat in your freezer. When your ready to reheat the soup, just thaw the bag overnight in your refrigerator and pour it into a pan over medium low heat.
Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Shallot Diced
- 3 Stalks Celery Diced
- 1 Cup Baby carrots Cut
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Cup Ham Cut into bite size pieces
- 2 Bay leaves
- 32 Oz Low Sodium Chicken Broth Manischewitz is best
- 1/2 Tsp Thyme Dried
- 1/2 Tsp Oregano Dried
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt Himalayan Pink is best
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1 14 oz can Cannellini beans Drained
- Add olive oil to a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Then add shallots, celery and carrots and cook 4-5 minutes to caramelize stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Then add ham, bay leaves (whole), chicken broth, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
- Add drained beans and continue to simmer, covered, for 30 more minutes.
- Remove bay leaves and ladle into serving bowls.
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