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Best Bean Soup with Ham Recipe

Watch the Best Bean Soup with Ham Recipe video

One of the most common pantry staples that most of us usually have on hand are beans. And when it comes to cooking beans, a tasty bean soup with ham can’t be beat!

15 Bean Soup Mix

Now, you don’t need to have an actual bag of 15 Bean Soup, but if you do, it makes a delightfully colorful soup, as well as a soup that’s filled with a diverse nutritional base thanks to the variety of beans. But rest assured, you can use any beans you want to make this soup. You can use all the same beans, or you can use a mix of beans.

To Soak or Not to Soak?

When it comes to making bean soup, or just cooking beans for that matter, I am a firm believer that you should soak your dried beans for at least 12 hours…even up to 48 hours (changing the water, of course, throughout the soaking process). But I know that “those are fightin’ words,” as I’ve been told by some of you! 😉

If you are not a believer in soaking your beans, don’t worry. In my bean soup recipe, I explain how to make this soup with soaked and unsoaked beans. But if you are curious as to why I am a supporter of soaking dried beans, be sure to watch my how to cook dried beans video where I discuss how I like to soak and cook beans to make them a versatile ingredient for many recipes.

Use a Ham Hock for Great Bean Soup Flavor

This bean soup recipe calls for using a ham hock. In the video, I used a smoked ham hock. The flavor can’t be beat. And the meat that falls of the hock, is fork-tender and oh so tasty! Although ham hocks are usually easy to find, if you can’t find this gem at your local grocery store, no problem. You can use some leftover ham from a baked ham or some ham that you purchase from the deli section.

US Wellness Meats

If you can’t get any pork products in your local grocery store, you may be able to find a ham hock, bacon, pork chops, and other delicious beef and poultry meats from US Wellness Meats’ online store. As you can see in my earlier US Wellness Meats unboxing video, the company does a nice job packing their meats to keep them cold before shipping them to your home. If you order from them, be sure to use the link below and my MARYSNEST coupon code to save 15% off regular-priced items.

This is not a sponsored post. I am a long time customer of US Wellness Meats. Because of my traditional foods cooking, they chose me as one of their featured chefs.

So Let’s Get Cooking

So pick the beans you want to use to make this delicious soup recipe, and let’s get started. You are going to love this bean soup that’s easy to make, provides excellent nutrition, and makes excellent use of a common pantry staple!

More Pantry Staple Videos

Be sure to check out the videos below and try your hand at cooking with more of your pantry staples, including How to Cook Dried Beans in the most versatile way to be able to use them in a myriad of recipes. And for the adventurers at heart, I even show you how to sprout beans for easy digestibility.

And when you’re ready to move on to creating meals with canned fish, be sure to check out my videos on how to best used canned salmon and canned sardines.

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Best Bean Soup with Ham

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
If Soaking Beans: 12 hours
Total: 14 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 16 servings
Enjoy this tasty and nutritious bean soup.


  • Large Soup Pot


  • 1 pound Beans, soaked overnight Optionally, beans can be soaked for up to 48 hours, changing water periodically. You can also use unsoaked beans in this recipe. Consult the recipe instructions below.
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee or other fat for sautéing Options include butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, lard, etc.
  • 1 large Onion, diced Any type of onion can be used.
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced More can be used.
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder, optional
  • 1 14.5 ounces Canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1 1/2 pound Ham hock Alternatively you can use raw sausage or cooked chopped ham. See Recipe Notes for additional information.
  • 8 cups Water Additional water will be need for soaking beans and/or making this recipe with unsoaked beans
  • 1 Lemon, zest and juice, optional Alternatively, vinegar can be used
  • Salt, optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper, optional


Process for Soaking Beans

  • Wash dried beans thoroughly in a colander and remove any small stones.
  • Transfer washed beans to a large soup pot and cover with at least 10 cups of water. Optionally, you can add two tablespoons of salt to the water.
  • Allow beans to soak overnight for approximately 12 hours. Alternatively, you can let the beans soak for up to 48 hours, changing the soaking water at least once during the extended soak.
  • Once the beans have been soaked, rinse them very well in a colander and transfer them to a bowl.

Preparing Soup with Soaked Beans

  • In a large soup pot, melt fat and then add diced onion and saute for approximately 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  • Next, add diced garlic to the soup pot and continue to saute for another minute or two until fragrant.
  • Add chili powder, if using, to the soup pot and stir well to coat onions and garlic.
  • Add tomatoes to the soup pot and stir well.
  • Add soaked beans to the soup pot and stir well.
  • Place ham hock in the center of the bean mixture in the soup pot and add 8 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a medium simmer and put lid on soup pot.
  • Allow soup to simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until beans are cooked and ham is tender.
  • Remove ham hock from the soup pot and remove ham from bone. Return shredded ham to the soup pot.
  • Taste for seasonings, and add salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, or vinegar.
  • Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Alternatively, soup may be frozen for up to 4-6 months.

Process for Using Unsoaked Beans

  • Rinse beans thoroughly in a colander and remove any stones.
  • Transfer rinsed beans to a large soup pot and add 10 cups of water.
  • Bring beans and water to a vigorous rolling boil. Stir, and then cover the soup pot. Lower heat only slightly and allow beans to boil for 1 1/2 hours.
  • After 1 1/2 hours, add all the other ingredients to the soup pot and cover. Allow bean soup to boil for at least 30-45 minutes or until all the beans are cooked and the ham is tender.
  • Once thoroughly cooked, remove the ham hock from the soup pot and remove ham from bone. Return shredded ham to soup pot.
  • Taste for seasonings and add salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, or vinegar.
  • Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Alternatively, soup may be frozen for up to 4-6 months.



USING RAW SAUSAGE:  If you decide to use raw sausage in this recipe, you can add it to the soup pot at the same time as the ham hock.
USING COOKED HAM:  If you decide to use cooked ham in this recipe, you can add it to the soup pot at the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time just to allow it to heat through.
Find this recipe and video at
Copyright © 2020 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Course: Soups & Stews
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: 15 Bean Soup, Bean Soup, Bean Soup with Ham, Beans
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*Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

**Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

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  1. 5 stars
    I grew up eating ham and bean soup that was simmered on our woodstove all day long while our mouths were watering. Our family recipe was never passed on to me before my father passed away, and I started making yours shortly after watching the recipe on your YouTube channel. It checks every box and then some! Thank you for sharing this. I can’t recommend it enough.

    1. Hi Maces,

      Thanks for your kind comments. I’m so happy this recipe brought back some wonderful and tasty memories!

      Love and God bless,

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this soup! I’ve made it with ground sausage, ham, and cut up jalapeño sausage links…so incredibly tasty! Thank you, Mary! God bless!

    1. Hi Courtney,

      Your ingredients sound wonderful! I’m so glad you love this soup. Thank you for your kind comments!

      Love and God bless,

  3. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe. I’ve made a few times, navy bean with ham, and it’s a new fav! Now, today made it with my other new Mary’s Nest favorite, vegetable bone broth. I’ve never tasted better. I kept adding to my freezer bag onion skins, garlic skins and then cleaned out the crisper. Cooked big pot of soaked beans in my scratch vegetable broth. Learning a lot Mary! Julie

    1. Hi Julie,

      Thanks for your kind comments. I’m happy that this soup recipe has become one of your favorites, and adding homemade vegetable broth is superb!

      Love and God bless,

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe! My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. It was so comforting, filling, affordable and easy. Thank you for all the recipes ( and lessons on nutrition). Xxxooo

    1. Hi Erin, Thank you SO much for the kind words! And I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the soup! Love and God Bless, Mary

  5. Hi Mary
    This is my first time watching you. I want
    To try your bean soup. I have a question for you
    Can I can this recipe up in pint size jars, to for later.
    Can you let me know. Thanks Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !! Joyce Fetting

    1. Hi Joyce, So sorry for the delay! I just saw this comment! I am not sure about canning it but I would check with the guidelines at the National Center for Home Food Preservation and see what they say: Love and God Bless, Mary

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