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Cooking within a tight grocery budget? Let me tell ya, this soup is the bomb. It’s not only cheap thanks to the beans, but it’s also very filling and boasts a rich savory flavor thanks to the ham. (Want to save even more? Try my equally delicious Ham and Bean Soup that’s even more budget-friendly due to only using a ham bone to flavor it.)
I created this new Ham and Bean Soup recipe after Thanksgiving as a way to use up the leftover ham for my Uncle Rich, who won’t touch turkey with a 10 foot pole. What makes this soup so simple is the use of a nine bean soup mix that you’ll find in the bean aisle of most grocery stores. Just be sure to follow the package directions, because YOU WILL NEED TO SOAK THE BEANS a few hours or even a day beforehand. That’s about the most complicated part of all this, which isn’t complicated at all. Soaking the beans just requires a wee bit of planning.
Make this recipe before winter passes, because it’s one of those soups you need to sip on while watching the snow flakes fall outside your window. Add a hunk of crusty bread alongside it, and you’ll feel that all is right in the world for those 10 minutes. It’s true.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 64 oz (2 cartons) chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1–2 cups ham steaks, cubed
- 1 lb soup bean mix (Soak first according to package directions.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced
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- In a large stock pot, saute onions in olive oil. Add garlic, red pepper, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken stock, water, ham, beans, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower heat, put on a lid (keep it tilted for venting), and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add more stock or water, if it reduces too much.
- Taste broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add carrots. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Garnish a bowl of soup with some fresh chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
Simply fully cook the soup, let it cool completely, and freeze in a BPA-free gallon freezer bag or other air-tight freezable container for up to 3 months.
Either thaw in the fridge overnight and warm up over low heat on the stovetop or in a crockpot.