Leftover Ham and Bean Soup – perfect use of that leftover ham from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This soup is delicious, hearty and smells heavenly.
Well I finally did it. I finally cooked a ham. A whole ham! A big one at that too, it was about 11 lbs. It was easy peasy.
But of course I had lots of leftover ham, like 8 lbs or so. So what’s a girl to do with all that ham. Well my dog would say “Put it down on the floor and I’ll clean the plate”. But we can’t do what she wants because she would literally eat 8 lbs of ham. I know she would. One time she ate a whole bag of Dentastix, a bag of 18 sticks and there were 2 left, and the only reason there were 2 left is because we came home and found her having fun with the bag. OMG I can’t tell you how worried we were. The bag was on the kitchen island, but she had found a way on top of the island, and helped herself to her favorite treat. I always used to wonder what she would do if I were to give her the entire bag. Well I wonder no more. I know she would eat the entire thing. Don’t worry, she was fine, we didn’t feed her much for the next 24 hours, we wanted to watch and see if she was going to get sick but nothing happened to her. Except she was quite happy. Well needless to say we learned our lesson and we now hide those treats better. So you see, this is why I think that she would and is quite capable of eating 8 lbs of ham.
As I was pondering what to make with all that ham, I remembered my mom’s ham and bean soup. So good and such a comforting dish. And that’s what I did. We still have lots of leftover ham, but this put a bit of a dent in it. But this soup is to die for. As it was cooking, the entire house smelled heavenly, probably drove the neighbors crazy, not to mention the hubs and the dog. The dog especially, parked herself by the stove and baby sat the soup as it was cooking.
Although you may think the list of ingredients may seem a bit long, trust me, it’s so easy to make.
I can’t tell you how yummy this soup is, so comforting, so hearty and so filling. This may seem a bit strange to some of you, but we usually eat this with raw red onion and salt. You take a small piece of onion, dip it in salt and have at it with the soup. May sound strange, but boy does it give this soup a new flavor dimension. Totally yummy.
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
Leftover Ham and Bean Soup - perfect use of that leftover ham from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This soup is delicious, hearty and smells heavenly.
- 1 leftover ham bone
- 2 cups leftover ham chopped in cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole parsnip peeled and cleaned
- 8 cups vegetable broth low sodium
- 19 oz cannellini beans (1 can), drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
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.