Got left-over Easter ham? Looking for ideas for using it up? This is where my left-over Easter ham went – a Navy Bean and Ham soup that’s definitely a meal in a bowl.
You can make this soup with canned beans, if you prefer not to soak beans. You can also just buy a slice of ham to throw in, instead of waiting for left-overs. Finally, since this soup reminds me a lot of Campbell’s™ Bean and Bacon soup, you could replace the ham with pre-cooked bacon instead (just cook it until it’s firm but not crispy and dice up).
Enjoy! It’s tasty and good for you, too.
Bean and Ham Soup
Summary: This is a hearty and healthy soup. Perfect for any time but especially after Easter if you left-over ham and/or a ham bone around.
- 2 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked diced ham (+ ham bone, if you have one)
- 1 1/2-2 cups dry navy beans (or 3 small cans of white/navy beans)
- 4 cups of chicken stock (or ham stock, if you’ve boiled the bone separately to make ham stock)
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Salt to taste, only if needed (taste before serving and only add salt at that point if needed. Ham and stock is very salty to begin with and so additional salt may not be needed).
- Soak the beans according to the package directions (overnight or “quick” method). Drain and set aside.
- *If you have a left-over ham bone, add to a separate large pot with enough water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or so. Strain liquid off and use in the soup. You can add the bone directly to the soup, if you prefer, but it’s hard to stir the soup with that large a bone in it and some nasty bits or bones might sneak into your soup. I prefer to boil it separately and use that stock in my soup.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil, onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring, until tender (about 4 minutes). Add the diced, cooked ham and stock (or water or ham stock from pre-boiling the left-over bone). Add a bay leaf, the tomato paste and pre-soaked or canned beans, if using. Stir. Once soup comes up to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are tender. (You may need to add a bit more water or stock, as the beans soak up the liquid).
- Remove the bay leaf. Using a potato masher, gently mash some of the beans (not all of them, just enough to thicken up the soup). Taste soup. Add salt, if needed and freshly ground pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 1 hour 30 min | Total time: 1 hours
Number of servings (yield): 6