Ham and White Bean Soup
Ham and White Bean Soup

Hearty ham and bean soup, perfect for cold winter days! Kidney beans, ham drumsticks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Tabasco and herbs make this delicious ham and bean soup a cool-weather classic.

When the weather turns chilly and you just want to stay toasty warm, it’s best to cook up a big pot of hearty soup. On a day like this, nothing is more comforting than this ham and kidney bean soup. (Well, maybe some fluffy wool slippers, but you can’t eat those!)

Video: How to make White Bean Ham Soup


Ham & White Bean Soup

The best ham and bean soup

This Ham and Bean Soup is one of my favorite recipes on the site and one my dad has been making for the family for decades. He makes a large portion (doubles it) and because it’s getting better by the day, we enjoy it for dinner one night and then for lunch several days later.

Why do some stews and soups get better the next day? I think that’s because the flavors of the beans, ham, and veggies have had time to blend. The starch from the beans will settle more into the broth, making the soup thicker and also more stew-like.

Ham Leg vs. Ham Leg

This recipe uses smoked ham drumsticks or ham shanks to make the rich broth for the soup. Ham drumsticks tend to have more meat (the photos of the soup show meat from a ham drumstick).

Think of the hock as the pig’s “ankle,” just above the feet. The thighs are under the shoulder (front) or ham (back leg).

What to serve with bean soup

A piece of crusty, buttered bread would make a great accompaniment to a bowl of this soup. You can also opt for garlic bread, cornbread, or buttermilk biscuits.

Here’s how to store and freeze this soup

This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and the flavor will get even better! You can also freeze it in individual containers for up to three months. Thaw and reheat overnight or reheat straight from the freezer over low heat.

More Great Bean Soups!

  • Easy Tuscan Bean Soup
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Bean and Bacon Soup
  • White bean and vegetable soup
  • White bean soup with ham, pumpkin and chard

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Ham and White Bean Soup

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
3 hrs 30 mins

total time
3 hrs 40 mins

8 servings

Substitute ham legs instead of knuckles if you want a meaty soup.


  • 1 lb (2 1/2 cups) dry kidney beans, like cannellini or Great Northern

  • 2 liter water

  • 2 to 3 lb smoked ham legs or leg of ham

  • 2 teaspoon Herbs of Provence or Italian spice

  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup diced onions (approx 1 small Onion)

  • 1 cup chopped celery (Above 2 to 3 ribs)

  • 2/3 cup chopped carrots (approx 1 Middle carrot)

  • 2 to 3 cloves Garlic, chopped

  • Tabasco sauce

  • salt and pepper

  • Fresh Parsley


  1. Soaking Dry Beans:

    Fill a pot large enough for the beans with water and bring to the boil. Turn off heat, add beans and soak for about 2 hours. drain the water

  2. Simmer the ham:

    While the beans are soaking in step 1, place the ham legs or ham drumsticks in a separate large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of water. Add the herbs de Provence or the Italian seasoning. Heat over high heat until the water is simmering, then reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer for about an hour.

  3. Sweat onions:

    Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook a minute longer.

  4. Add vegetables and beans to the ham broth:

    Once the ham shank or shank has cooked for an hour, add the drained soaked beans from Step 1, the cooked onions and garlic, and the chopped celery and carrots.

  5. Cook a soup:

    Cook, uncovered, for a further 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the ham pulls away from the bone easily. Remove the ham bones from the soup and discard any meat and return to the soup. Throw away the bones.

  6. Season to taste:

    Add a few drops of Tabasco to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley.

nutritional information (per serving)
611 calories
25g Fat
37g carbohydrates
58gr protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!