Ham and Bean Soup

updated Apr 13, 2020
Ham and Bean Soup

All you need is a couple cans of beans, some broth, basic vegetables, and of course the leftover ham to pull together a pot of this quick and easy soup.


Prep5 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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A bowl of ham and bean soup sits on the kitchen counter.
Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

I’ve always been a firm believer that the best part of Easter ham is the leftovers, which is good news for me because there are a lot of them this year (and I’m guessing that’s true for many of you, too). I’ve got plenty of ideas for how to put it to use (quesadillas, casseroles, and, of course, a cheesy quiche), but the very first thing I’m planning to make is a big ol’ batch of ham and bean soup.

Inspired by hearty, slow-simmered ham bone soup, this version proves just as delicious while being far faster and easier to pull together. In fact, all you need is a couple of cans of beans, some broth, a few veggies, and your leftover ham. Let it simmer together for 20 minutes and you’ve got a batch of satisfying soup to last all week long.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

Turning Leftover Ham into an Easy Pot of Soup

It doesn’t matter what kind of ham you’ve got or how you cooked it — it’s all fair game in this soup. Plan on using about two cups of leftover ham, which is just enough for a hearty soup that promises to load your spoon with meat and veggies in every bite. It’s up to you whether you shred the meat or cut it into small cubes. Just remember to keep the pieces of ham small so they’ll easily fit on the spoon.

If you don’t have any leftover ham you can start with a ham steak instead. Cut the meat into cubes (which is much easier than shredding it), add it to the pot according to the recipe instructions, and it will cook through as it simmers.

Ham and Bean Soup

All you need is a couple cans of beans, some broth, basic vegetables, and of course the leftover ham to pull together a pot of this quick and easy soup.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 3

    medium carrots

  • 3

    medium celery stalks

  • 2 cloves


  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans

    cannellini beans

  • 12 ounces

    cooked ham (about 2 cups shredded or diced)

  • 6 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/4 cup

    fresh parsley leaves


  1. Prepare the following, placing them all in the same bowl: Dice 1 medium onion, peel and dice 3 medium carrots, dice 3 medium celery stalks, and mince 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and rinse 2 cans cannellini beans and shred or dice 12 ounces cooked ham (about 2 cups).

  3. Add the beans, ham, 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves.

  4. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.