Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect recipe after your holiday ham when you want a cozy warm soup to help you recover from holiday cooking!
Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup is the second Slow Cooker Ham soup on the blog because A: we love slow cookers and B: the kids think of ham as bacon steaks so with that description how could you not be obsessed with it?
This post is the second slow cooker ham soup recipe on the blog. The most popular one (by far) is the Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup which has almost 500,000 re-pins on Pinterest! This one uses the leftover ham bone from our Smithfield Spiral Ham (who also generously sponsored this post).For Thanksgiving each year we make a classic turkey and a spiral sliced ham to serve the large crowd of people. I can’t help it, when I see the holiday table it needs to be overflowing with food and with multiple proteins we are already off to a great start.
I do take the extra step of browning my ham bone for this Slow Cooker Ham and White Bean Soup (you can see the browning in the first picture). That extra step adds a ton of flavor and amplifies that vegetable stock to make a totally flavorful broth.
You technically don’t have to take that step, but with slow cookers any time you can brown the meat before hand, the more depth of flavor you’ll have in your final dish.
Looking for more slow cooker soups?
- Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup
- Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
- Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Slow Cooker Creamy Minestrone Soup
Tools Used in the making of this Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. For larger roasts I also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
Better Than Bouillon: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
Spice Rack – I buy spices in bulk and it’s less expensive and significantly higher quality than buying the jars individually but I ended up being left with tons of little bags of spices. Enter the spice rack.
- 1 spiral sliced ham, the leftover bone and 3 cups of diced ham
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 1 1/2 cups carrots , diced
- 1 cup celery , diced
- 3 cans white cannelini beans , drained and rinsed (15 ounce cans)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- chopped parsley , for garnish
- In a pot or if your slow cooker like mine has an insert you can brown in, brown the ham bone on high until the sides are caramelized (3-4 minutes on each side).
- Add the bone, chopped ham, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, cannelini beans, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, vegetable stock, salt and pepper to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the ham bone and discard.
- Serve with parsley, optional as a garnish
Made this with leftover spiral ham but the bone was still frozen so we skipped it. Still good! I cut back on the thyme so it was probably a half tsp, and realized too late that I was out of dried rosemary so I used fresh instead. Also used chicken broth because we don’t love veggie stock here. Very yummy. We loved that it was filling without being heavy. Served up with homemade sourdough discard flatbread.
I made this recipe using a ham hock instead of a spiral ham, in addition to leftover ham from Christmas brunch. Used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.
Cooked it in my crockpot for 8 hours and it turned out great. Very flavorful. I also browned the ham hock prior to putting it in the crockpot. Made for great flavor!
I’m excited to make this tomorrow night. I bought a bone-in spiral sliced ham and some diced ham. Since this is meant for a leftover ham, what should I do if I’m starting with a new spiral sliced ham? Should I take the slices off of the bone and save them for something else? Or should I just put all the ham in? It’s a 7lb spiral sliced ham plus the 3 cups of diced ham.
This was good overall but I felt the thyme was really overpowering. If I make this again, I will definitely reduce the thyme and probably the salt as well – there’s enough salt in the ham that it’s very easy to overdo it.
I’m confused about the serving size. Is it supposed to be 1cup instead of 1g? 🙂
I would love to try this recipe but don’t own a slow cooker. I have a crockpot. Could it be made in this ? I can’t buy anymore pots or pans. So if it can’t be made in a crockpot I’m sorry. It sounds so wonderful.
A slow cooker and crockpot are the same thing so it’ll work. Crockpot is just a brand name for a slow cooker. Enjoy!
A crock pot is a slow cooker. It is just a brand name. I personally have a KitchenAid slow cooker. You’ll be just fine!
If I were using dried white beans how much soaked overnight?
You’ll need to soak about 1 1/2 heaping cups of dried beans to equal 3 cans of beans.
I just finished making this recipe and it’s very flavorful! I used chicken stock and served with corn bread muffins. Definitely recommend!
Fantastic recipe, made several times. Requires about double the broth recommended above (if made as directed, it is almost more like a stew). I’ve used both chicken broth and vegetable stock, either work well. Usually also add chicken bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder to deepen flavor (probably because I’m adding so much addl broth).
Thanks for the comment I was wondering about the broth and how it would turn out. I won’t double it but I will definitely add more
Finally found the best recipe for our left-over spiral ham bone! My wife raved over the flavor. By far the best ham and bean soup we’ve ever made. Followed the recipe to the T!! Thank you for sharing this. It has been saved to my favorites!
I’m so glad you both loved it so much!
Hola, perdon el jamón es un chamorro de cerdo? o de que pieza y que cantidad, gracias
el jamón es cerdo de una pierna cortada
This was the best soup! We added a ham hock as we did not have a ham bone. And we also used chicken stock instead of vegetable. We used our own dried rosemary and thyme. What flavor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much.
You’re welcome, Christine!
Easy, loved the cannellini beans, I would try it again but without or less thyme. It overpowered the soup. Mine doesn’t have any ham taste because of it.
This was a fantastic recipe! For a little added body, we added some berbere (a wonderful Ethiopian spice) and a pinch of cinnamon.
Sounds delicious, Brenda!
Making this today ! Could I use coconut milk instead of creme or regular milk ?
I wish I could tell you but I haven’t tested it. My gut says yes?
Made this with a coleslaw salad and sweet cornbread on the side. Nothing says “home cookin” like this ham and bean soup. Delicious.
Now I’m hungry!!
This was really good.
We use the leftovers from a ham my boyfriend smokes. This is the second time I am using your recipe. Browning the bone really brings out a ton of flavor. This is my new favorite soup!
Love that idea, thanks!
If I was to use 15 bean ready mix, would I use the same quantity of beans that you did. So 45 ounces? And have you ever added cabbage and potato to the recipe?
I’m not familiar with that mix but as long as the quantities are the same, you’ll be fine. I haven’t tested adding cabbage and potatoes but it sounds amazing. My only suggestion would be to use Yukon potatoes. I’d love to hear how it turns out! Enjoy!!
I cooked my first ham bone EVER yesterday using your recipe, sort of. I used the 20oz. 15 bean mix (soaking them overnight in water only) minus the seasoning packet. I did use everything else plus a little more 🙂 Since we love garlic I added more ( 6 cloves) then I browned the ham bone as suggested since I didn’t have dried rosemary I cut a nice piece and put that in. I did think about the potatoes but opted not to use them and honestly, if you use the cabbage, I suggest that it be tossed in the last hour like you would for corned beef.
When I came home the house smelled AMAZING. For me, I wished it had a little more “juice” so when we’re done there was enough for tomorrow’s dinner. I added another 4 cups of stock allowing it to meld overnight.
Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for dropping by to let me know! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Coming home to an amazing smelling house is always such a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?!
I can’t wait to try this…love all the ingredients and love them in soup. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Cornbread will be perfect with it. Might even invite in the neighbors on a cold winter evening!
What a wonderful idea! Enjoy!!
I like bean soup. It is the really amazing post for me. I have subscribed to your blog. Thanks for sharing.
Look forward to seeing you around the site!
Yum. Looking forward to more recipes. Now all I need is a pan of cornbread.
Thank you Harriett!
I brought this soup in for a cook-off at work, and it was a huge hit! It’s definitely going in my normal rotation. Mine turned out too salty, so I think next time I’ll use low-sodium broth. I’m not exactly sure why it turned out that way – could’ve been the ham i used.
Loved that it was a huge hit! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
This seems to make a lot of soup. Does it freeze well since you are already using previously cooked (and in my case frozen) ham and ham bone?
Absolutely! Freeze in portions for easiest defrosting and sprinkle with some water and cover with wet paper towel in the microwave or with foil in the oven. The extra water (1-2 tablespoons) will help tremendously.
I have dried navy beans that I’ve soaked overnight that I’d rather use over canned beans. Do you recommend pre-cooking them as well before adding to the crocker with the ham bone, vegs and stock?
Did you use salt in your soaking? That cuts down the time for cooking dramatically and helps season them. I’d say even if you didn’t I would go ahead and add them, they should be just fine.
Sabrina, the soup was delicious. I didn’t add salt when I soaked the beans. I cooked for about 9 hours on Low overnight and it was perfectly done. Then, I took the leftover soup, about 1.5 qt, added about 1/3 c of dark brown sugar, 1/2-3/4 c of water, oven at 325 for 60-90 mins. Voila! Incredible baked beans! (Sorry for the fuzzy measurements…I’m a shoot-from-the-hip cook)
I’m so happy to hear it was a success! Love the leftover idea, as well!
Hi, Sabrina. This is a wonderful recipe with the canned Canneilini beans. However, I would like to try this recipe with dried beans.
Would it be ok if I soaked the beans 24 hours with salt and cold water in the slow cooker?
How much salt and water do you typically use with each pound of dried beans?
Also, do you leave the slow cooker crock on the counter overnight or do you place it in the refrigerator?
Thanks! Please keep sharing your wonderful recipes with us!!!
Soak the beans in enough water to cover them by 2 inches. I just leave the slow cooker out on the counter overnight and allow them to soak. The next morning, I drain the beans and use them for this recipe. I hope this helps answer your questions. Enjoy the soup!
Awesome recipe! I will be perusing your site first when I want another tasty meal.
Hi, Sabrina. How much salt and cold water do you add to the slow cooker crock for 1 pound of dried beans and do you soak the them at room temperature?
You’ll want to add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. There’s no need to turn on the slow cooker as they can soak overnight at room temperature. Hope this helps!
This was delicious! Made it for New Years Day with the leftover ham and ham bone from Christmas. It was a big hit – even with the kids.
Fantastic! I love when a meal is a hit with everyone! Thanks for coming back and letting me know how much you enjoyed it!
I enjoy looking through your blog… Spied this recipe and am really pleased to see the “brown the ham bone” tip..
The ham bone from our Christmas dinner is waiting in the freezer and will be in our slow cooker soon.. With only the two of us I will have to cut the recipe down a bit but, I know that won’t be a problem..
Thank you for a simple, delicious appearing recipe… :O)
You’re welcome Ross!
Good point Ross but what if there is just one person? Do you halve or quarter etc., the ingredients proportionately? Do some still require near full-strength amounts? I’m a novice cook sometimes stymied by the tricks of the trade which most of you “pros” take for granted. Thanks.
Yes, if you want to make a smaller batch just cut everything in half or quarter depending on how much you want to make. You could also make a full batch and freeze the leftovers into single portions.
What if I don’t have the ham bone. Do I need to add extra broth? What do you suggest!
If you don’t have ham bone I wouldn’t worry about extra broth, I would caramelize the pork you have to get as much flavor out of it as possible. The flavor of the bone/marrow can’t really be replaced but it will still be delicious.
You could also use ham hocks in place of the bone. Thats what I do. It comes out tasty.
Great tip, thanks!
So I cooked a ham today but threw out the bone! I know so silly! Would this still be good with just the leftover ham and no bone?
Yes! But I would suggest just giving the ham pieces a bit of a brown in the pan so a little extra flavor is in them 🙂
Two things I love! Using my slow cooker and soup!
This is pure comfort food!!
This soup is my idea of ultimate comfort food!
White bean soups are the BEST! This looks flavor-packed!
This soup looks wonderful!
Oh wow, I’m really wishing I had some leftover ham in my house because this looks so delicious and perfect right now! (I’m thinking I need to go buy a ham just to make this!)
Aww thanks Laura!
Such a great cold weather soup, and I’ll bet it’s packed with flavor from that delicious ham!
This looks really satisfying, and delicious! Perfect on a cold winter night (and love the ease of the slow cooker)!
I made this delicious soup with my leftover hambone and ham from Christmas! It was very easy to make, very hearty meal, and super delicious! Definitely a repeater!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I never thought of Browning my meat and my Crock-Pot thank you for suggesting it wonderful idea.. Thank you