White Bean and Ham Soup

Warm up your kitchen and delight your taste buds with a bowl of hearty White Bean and Ham Soup. This classic recipe is a comforting favorite, perfect for chilly days or whenever you’re craving a satisfying meal. Packed with tender Great Northern beans, savory diced ham, and aromatic vegetables, this soup is easy to make and sure to please the whole family.


  • 20 ounces dried Great Northern Beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups cooked diced ham
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper


  1. Prepare the Beans: Start by rinsing and sorting through the dried Great Northern beans, ensuring there are no debris or rocks mixed in. Set the beans aside for later use.
  2. Sauté Aromatic Vegetables: In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, celery, and carrots, sautéing until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds to release its fragrance.
  3. Cook the Beans: Add water, Italian seasoning, and the dried beans to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Let it cook for about 2 hours until the beans are mostly tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Add Ham and Seasonings: Stir in the cooked diced ham, salt, and ground pepper. Continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes to an hour, or until the beans are fully cooked and the flavors have melded together.
  5. Adjust Consistency and Seasonings: If needed, adjust the soup’s consistency by adding additional water or chicken stock. Taste and season with more salt and pepper according to your preference.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the White Bean and Ham Soup into bowls and serve piping hot. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for an extra burst of flavor.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Garnish and Serve: Before serving, garnish the White Bean and Ham Soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for added flavor and visual appeal. Pair it with crusty bread or a side salad for a satisfying meal.
  2. Store Properly: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure the soup has cooled completely before transferring it to the container to prevent condensation and maintain freshness.
  3. Freezing Option: For longer storage, consider freezing individual portions of the soup. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or resealable plastic bags. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  4. Thawing and Reheating: When ready to enjoy again, thaw the frozen soup overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Alternatively, microwave individual servings in microwave-safe bowls, stirring halfway through the heating process.
  5. Revitalize Flavors: If the soup thickens upon reheating or loses some of its flavor, you can revive it by adding a splash of broth or water to reach the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed before serving.
  6. Batch Cooking: Consider doubling the recipe and freezing extra portions for quick and convenient meals on busy days. This allows you to enjoy the comforting flavors of homemade soup with minimal effort whenever cravings strike.
  7. Portion Control: Divide the soup into individual servings before freezing to ensure you can thaw and reheat only what you need, reducing waste and making meal planning more manageable.
  8. Meal Prep Idea: Prepare a batch of this White Bean and Ham Soup ahead of time for easy meal prep. Portion it into single-serving containers for grab-and-go lunches or quick dinners during the week.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy the deliciousness of White Bean and Ham Soup whenever you desire, whether it’s a cozy night in or a busy weekday meal. With proper storage and reheating techniques, you’ll always have a comforting bowl of soup ready to warm you up on chilly days.


  1. Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version, omit the ham and add extra vegetables such as diced potatoes, bell peppers, and spinach. You can also substitute vegetable broth for the water for added flavor.
  2. Spicy Twist: Add a kick of heat by incorporating diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the soup. For an extra spicy flavor, stir in a dollop of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce before serving.
  3. Creamy Addition: Make the soup creamier by stirring in a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking. This adds richness and depth to the dish.
  4. Herb Infusion: Experiment with different herbs to elevate the flavor profile. Fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley can add a fragrant touch to the soup. Simply chop the herbs finely and sprinkle them over the soup before serving.
  5. Cheesy Upgrade: Stir in shredded cheese like sharp cheddar or Gruyère for a cheesy twist. Let the cheese melt into the hot soup for a creamy, indulgent finish.
  6. Smoked Flavor: For a smoky flavor, substitute smoked ham hock or bacon for the diced ham. The smokiness will infuse the soup with a rich, savory taste that pairs perfectly with the beans and vegetables.
  7. Bean Variety: Experiment with different types of beans such as cannellini beans, navy beans, or pinto beans to change up the texture and flavor of the soup. You can even mix different varieties for added depth.
  8. Tangy Addition: Add a splash of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors and balance the richness of the soup. Adjust the amount to your taste preferences.
  9. Grainy Texture: For a heartier texture, add cooked grains like barley, quinoa, or farro to the soup. These grains will absorb the flavors of the broth and add a satisfying chewiness to each spoonful.
  10. Green Upgrade: Boost the nutritional value of the soup by incorporating leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or Swiss chard. Stir them into the soup during the last few minutes of cooking until wilted.


  1. Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans?
    • Yes, you can substitute canned beans for dried beans. Drain and rinse the canned beans before adding them to the soup, and adjust the cooking time accordingly since canned beans are already cooked.
  2. Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
    • Absolutely! Follow the same steps up to adding the ham, then transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  3. How can I make this soup gluten-free?
    • To make this recipe gluten-free, ensure that all ingredients, including the ham and broth, are certified gluten-free. You can also substitute gluten-free flour for thickening the soup if needed.
  4. Can I freeze this soup?
    • Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  5. What can I serve with this soup?
    • White Bean and Ham Soup pairs well with crusty bread, cornbread, or a simple green salad. It’s also delicious topped with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of grated cheese.
  6. Can I add other vegetables to this soup?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to customize the soup by adding vegetables like diced potatoes, green beans, or diced tomatoes. Add them along with the onions, celery, and carrots during the cooking process.
  7. How do I know when the beans are fully cooked?
    • The beans should be tender and creamy when fully cooked. Taste a few beans to check for doneness. If they are still firm or chalky, continue simmering until they reach the desired texture.
  8. Can I make this soup ahead of time?
    • Yes, this soup actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Simply reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

With its simple preparation and robust flavors, this White Bean and Ham Soup is a comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether enjoyed as a cozy weeknight dinner or shared with loved ones during gatherings, it’s sure to warm both hearts and bellies alike.