This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This Leftover Ham and Bean Soup recipe uses up the bone and extra meat to make a flavorful and mouthwatering soup. Get ready for a delicious, hearty and heavenly smelling dinner.
Leftover Ham and Bean Soup
Maybe you made a honey mustard glazed ham, or perhaps it was glazed with brown sugar and cola. No matter how you prepared it, I have an awesome recipe for your leftovers! I don’t know about you, but when I’m in charge of making a big family dinner I’ll buy a larger ham than what I’ll actually need. This is the one time I get excited about leftovers! There are so many amazing uses for leftover ham, but this soup really tops the charts for me.
This soup is really simple. It’s a classic that will take some of us back down memory lane, and fill you right up at the same time. I don’t mess around when it comes to an amazing ham and bean soup! This soup is to die for. As it was cooking, the entire house smelled ridiculously good, probably drove the neighbours crazy, not to mention the hubs and the dog.
Ingredients in Ham and Bean Sou
- Olive oil – You can use any type of oil you prefer.
- Onion – I used a large onion. White onion works best.
- Celery – I personally like to slice my celery very small. You can cut them as small or large as you want.
- Carrots – If you like your carrots softer, dice them small. If you want them a bit crunchier, chop the pieces bigger.
- Garlic – The more garlic the merrier! You can use as much or as little as you like.
- Ham – This recipe is so delicious that I would even go out to just buy a small ham to make the soup if I don’t have leftovers.
- Ham bone – Shave off as much of the meat as you can, but it’s okay to leave some on. That meat will still flavor the broth.
- Parsnip – I know some people have it out for parsnips, but trust me here. They add amazing flavor to the broth! I added them in large chunks to cook the soup and they’re removed before serving.
- Bay leaves – Use whole bay leaves. If you don’t have any at home, add them to your grocery list! They add a delicious peppery herb flavor to the soup.
- Vegetable broth – This has a mild taste and is still a great base to build up all your flavor.
- Cannellini beans – These are also referred to as white kidney beans. Always rinse canned beans before using them.
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste. Keep in mind that the ham will salt the broth.
- Parsley – I love to use parsley as a fresh and bright garnish.
What Other Types of Beans Can I Use?
Cannellini beans are pretty popular for soups, but if you have a few other types hanging out in your pantry that you want to use up then check out this list to see if they’ll work:
- Navy beans
- Gigante beans
- Kidney beans
How to Make Leftover Ham and Bean Soup
- Prepare the soup: In a large soup pot, add the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for a few minutes until the onion becomes tender. Add the garlic, ham, ham bone, parsnip, bay leaves, and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat then lower to medium heat and cook for 30 minutes.
- Finish the soup: Add the beans, cumin, thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Let everything cook for another 30 minutes, then remove the bone, bay leaves, and parsnip. Season to taste.
Can I Make Ham and Bean Soup Without the Bone?
Yes! If you don’t have a ham bone, just skip it, it’s used to flavor the soup. You can add some extra herbs and seasoning to build more flavor if you feel it’s lacking without the bone. Using a soup enhancer such as bouillon or vegeta is a great way to add flavor.
How to Store Leftover Ham and Bean Soup
This recipe makes a pretty decent amount of soup, so if you venture into the lands of leftover leftovers, I have a few options for you.
This soup will stay good for 3-4 days in an airtight container stored in your fridge.
You can definitely store your soup in the freezer if you’d like. You can store it either in a large airtight container, or in smaller individual containers. Thaw either in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat. This soup will last 2-3 months frozen.
Craving More Recipes for Your Leftover Ham? Try These:
- Leftover Ham and Cheese Penne
- Olive Ham and Cheese Loaf
- Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Ham and Cheese Pockets
- Leftover Pistachio Pesto Turkey Sandwich
- Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
- Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Stromboli
Looking for more recipes? Follow on...
Leftover Ham and Bean Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups leftover ham chopped in cubes
- 1 leftover ham bone
- 1 whole parsnip peeled and cleaned
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups vegetable broth low sodium
- 19 oz cannellini beans (1 can), drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsely chopped, for garnish
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes until onion is tender.
- Add garlic, ham, ham bone, parsnip, bay leaves and the broth. If you don't have a ham bone, just skip it. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium. Let cook for about 30 minutes.
- Add rinsed beans, cumin, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
- Remove ham bone, bay leaves and parsnip. Garnish with parsley and serve.
- I don't have leftover ham or ham bone, can I still make this: Yes! You can purchase a prepackaged ham from your local grocery store and use that instead of leftover ham. If you don't have a ham bone, just skip it, it's used to flavor the soup.=
- Can I chop up the parsnip: Yes, of course. I use a whole parsnip to simply flavor the soup, but I know some people prefer to actually eat, so in that case, chop it first, then add it to the soup.
- Can I use dry beans instead of canned beans: Absolutely, just keep in mind that dry beans take longer to cook. You'll need about 1 cup of dry beans for this recipe. Also if using dry beans, you can soak them in water overnight if you choose. Usually this is done to speed up the cooking process, however studies have shown that it will only cut about 10 minutes of cooking time.
- How do I store leftovers: Store leftover soup in a covered glass or plastic container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Can I freeze this soup: Yes you can. While the soup will only last 3 to 4 days in the fridge, it can last up to a month in the freezer. Make sure the soup is cooled completely first. Use freezer bags for this such as gallon or quart-size top plastic freezer bags. Ladle soup into each bag then let out any excess air and seal. Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer. Once they're frozen you can stack them to save space. To reheat, thaw them overnight in your fridge then pour them in a saucepan and reheat over low heat. You can also reheat them in the microwave.
- Nutrition: Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Originally shared Nov 2014.