Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

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Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup — An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Slow Cooker White Bean and Ham Soup Recipe

It’s that time of year when holiday hams are served in abundance. And that can often mean lots of leftover ham.

Not sure what to make with your leftover ham? In case you’re in that boat, this easy slow cooker ham and bean soup recipe will come in perfectly to help you use your leftover ham.

Along with the ham, there’s white beans, carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme to create plenty of flavor depth. Simmering it in your slow cooker really helps meld the flavors together.

Or if you’re like me and prefer to do things faster, you can also make this ham and white bean soup on your stovetop. It comes together in just 30 minutes!

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Ingredients in Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup 

For this comfort food homemade ham and bean soup recipe, you’ll need the following common and easy-to-find ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter
  • White or yellow onion
  • Carrot
  • Garlic
  • Thyme 
  • White beans
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Ham (cooked)
  • Smoked paprika

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup 

To make ham and bean soup in your Crock-Pot, simply follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes in a skillet. 

Step 2: Add that, plus all the remaining ingredients, to your slow cooker.

Step 3: Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours before serving.

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

If you’re like me and are just not really a slow cooker person because you hate to wait, never fear. You can whip this soup up on the stove in 30 minutes.

Step 1: Saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes in a Dutch oven or large stockpot. 

Step 2: Add the carrot and saute for 3 more minutes. 

Step 3: Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute.

Step 4: Add all the remaining ingredients, and simmer for about 20 minutes before serving. 

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

How Long to Cook Ham and Bean Soup in a Slow Cooker

This easy ham and bean soup needs to cook for just 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. So long as you dice the veggies fairly small, the soup should be finished within that time frame.  

What Size Slow Cooker Should I Use? 

Use at least a 7- to 8-quart slow cooker. This hearty soup makes 8 servings! 

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

What Type of Ham Should I Use? 

As I mentioned, feel free to use leftover holiday ham. Cube it and add one pound. It’s probably about 3 cups but of course you can add a bit more or less depending on what you have.

If you don’t have any leftover ham, don’t worry. Pick up a pound of thick-sliced ham from your grocery store’s deli.

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

What Kind of White Beans Should I Use?

I recommend either using cannellini Beans or white navy beans. The recipe calls for 3 cans total and you can mix and match two cans of one type, and one can of the other if desired.

Additionally, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, or even black beans are fine. Obviously the flavor will change but if you have a ton of a particular kind of canned beans on hand and want to use them, feel free.

You certainly could use previously cooked homemade white beans if you have them on hand. 

Can I Use Dried White Beans? 

No, the only thing you don’t want to use is dry uncooked beans and try to add those into the slow cooker or stovetop version. That definitely would not work.

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

How to Store Ham and Bean Soup

Soups in general keep very well and this one is no exception. Your ham and white bean soup will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Can You Freeze Ham and Bean Soup?

Yes, it will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. I prefer storing my soups in smaller ziptop freezer bags so I can thaw just a couple portions at a time rather than, say, half a batch. 

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Tips for the Best Ham and Bean Soup

I prefer using low-salt or salt-free canned white beans in this recipe. I can always add extra salt to the Crockpot ham and bean soup, but I can’t remove it. 

Likewise, I also use low-salt broth. You can use chicken or veggie broth to make this recipe, either works! 

You can also add some small-diced potatoes like Yukon gold to the soup when you add the broth and all the other ingredients. Make sure they are small-diced so they cook in the time allotted.

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

What to Serve with Ham and Bean Soup

If you want to up the depth of flavor to your ham and bean soup, serve it with some freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese. Also, red pepper flakes are a nice touch for a bit of heat. I am a heat lover so this is right up my alley.

As far as sides go, a nice hunk of homemade Skillet Cornbread is a great touch.

Or, go with any type of dinner roll or bread you like. Think: whole wheat skillet bread, honey beer bread, or your favorite store-bought bread. 

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup - An incredibly EASY and comforting soup that can be made with leftover holiday ham or deli ham! Your slow cooker does all the work to meld the flavors together. OR you can also make this on the stove top in 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (olive oil may be subsituted)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 carrot, peeled, trimmed, and sliced thinly
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs OR 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • three 15-ounce cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed (if possible I use low or no-salt added)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I use low or no-salt added)
  • 1 pound ham*, cubed (about 3 cups) – See Notes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted although smoked adds a great touch)

Instructions

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. To a large skillet, add the butter, onion, and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes; stir intermittently.
  2. Transfer the onion, plus all remaining ingredients to at least a 7 to 8-quart slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours and serve.

Stovetop Instructions

  1. To a large Dutch oven or stockpot. add the butter, onion, and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes; stir intermittently.
  2. Add the carrot and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes, stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring nearly constantly.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low or low, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes and serve.

Notes

*The soup is great with leftover ham that you cube. If you don’t have any leftover ham, don’t worry. Pick up a pound of thick-sliced ham from your grocery store’s deli and cube it.

For either version – Soup is excellent served with freshly shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, hot pepper flakes if you like some heat, as well as cornbread or dinner rolls.

Storage: Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 693Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 1089mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 18gSugar: 3gProtein: 64g

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