If you've got loads of leftover ham from Christmas or Easter dinner, I've got the most fantastically delicious and super easy recipe to share with you!
This healthy, homemade, creamy ham soup is made with canned great northern white and pinto beans, seasonings, veggie mirepoix, and vegetable broth. It's so savory and tasty.
It's even gluten free and low calorie, too!
*Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Simple, yummy slow cooker recipes are always nice after a busy day of holiday cooking . Of course, you can also easily make this soup on the stovetop if you choose!
If you still have leftover ham after making your soup, you may also want to try making these tasty Crustless Ham & Cheese Quiche Cups! Do you also have some leftover turkey? Try this Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup.
Veggies: Carrots, celery and yellow onion.
Olive oil: For sautéing veggies before they're added to the crockpot to create a delicious mirepoix with deep, rich flavors!
Beans: I like the taste of great northern white beans and pinto beans but you can add any variety you like! Kidney, navy, lima or cannellini beans would all be delicious.
Diced ham: time to dice up your leftover holiday ham, this is the perfect recipe to use it all up! Your family won't even realize they're eating leftovers with a soup this yummy. If you don't have leftover ham you can still make this recipe. Just buy pre-cooked ham at the grocery store (look in the meat section or inquire at the deli counter).
Herbs & seasonings: this creamy, slow cooker soup is flavored with salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, ground thyme and a bay leaf! If you don't have a bay leaf, it's not a huge deal. They add more depth and an extra layer or flavor but it's totally optional.
Dairy: reduced fat cream cheese and light sour cream are used to make this soup creamy. Regular fat content options will work fine, I simply enjoy using light ingredients for a lower calorie/healthier bowl of soup. You can also leave out dairy all together if you prefer.
Vegetable broth: chicken broth will also work nicely!
Garnish: top your bowl of soup with fresh chopped thyme or parsley leaves and a little shredded white cheddar if desired!
How to make creamy ham and bean soup:
Keep scrolling for the full recipe. We’ll start here with some general directions!
Start by making your mirepoix (also called soffritto). This simply means to sauté your carrots, celery and onion in olive oil.
While veggies are sautéing, measure all other ingredients into a large crockpot. Be sure to drain and rinse canned beans before adding. Add veggies once they are done.
Mix all of the ingredients together and turn on the crockpot! Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
Ladle soup into serving bowls, add desired garnish and enjoy. It's really that easy!
If you don't have enough time to make this soup in the crockpot, never fear! It's easy to make it on the stovetop. Place a large stock pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add olive oil and veggies. Sauté for 10 minutes and then add all other ingredients. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes - that's it!
Be careful with the salt: start with just ½ teaspoon! Once your soup is fully cooked, do a taste test and see if you'd like to add more. Different brands of broth have varying sodium levels so going slow will help ensure you don't over salt your soup.
Get creative: If you want you can add other ingredients or use different types of beans. This is a great recipe to use up leftover ingredients in your refrigerator. Chopped kale, spinach or cabbage are all great additions to this recipe if you happen to have some!
Can ham and bean soup be frozen?
Freezing creamy soup can be tricky! Fats are likely to separate and take on a grainy texture when frozen. What you can do is make this soup without sour cream and cream cheese (and then add it later when you reheat)!
Allow your soup (made without dairy) to cool completely and then place in an air-tight, freezer safe food storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a pot on the stovetop until warmed through and then stir in cream cheese/sour cream.
How long will creamy ham and bean soup keep in the refrigerator?
Allow soup to cool and place in an airtight container, refrigerate 3-5 days.
This recipe calls for great northern white and pinto beans! You can definitely mix things up and use different varieties if you prefer. Black, kidney, lima or navy beans would all be delicious in this recipe.
There are many ways to thicken your soup! When sautéing your carrots, celery and onion, sprinkle them with a tablespoon of flour (or gluten free flour) and mix well before adding the rest of the soup ingredients. Or, you can use a blender to puree additional beans and add to the soup. Last, if you're a lover of cheese, try adding white cheddar cheese to your soup until you get the texture you like!
Potatoes would definitely a delicious addition to this soup! You could also try sweet potatoes! Simply peel, dice and add them in with everything else to simmer. You may want to add an additional half cup of water or broth if you decide to include potatoes.
Serve this hearty, savory soup with a light, classic side salad! A big piece of buttery garlic bread would also pair perfectly and can be used to soak up extra broth so you don't have to waste a single drop.
Chopped fresh thyme is my favorite garnish for creamy ham and bean soup! It smells and tastes incredible, all while adding hardly any calories. Chopped parsley leaves, shredded white cheddar cheese or crunchy bacon bits are also delightful toppings.
This recipe doesn't call for white wine vinegar, but it can be delicious. Just be careful! If you add too much vinegar to creamy soup, it can curdle the dairy. I'd recommend stirring in just 1 Tablespoon, a little goes a long way. Or you might choose to leave dairy out all together in you add vinegar.
Definitely! You can leave out the sour cream and cream cheese if you prefer.
The amount of calories in ham and bean soup will, of course, depend on the recipe. This particular recipe contains approximately 350 calories per 16 ounce bowl.
Pin it for later!
Creamy Ham & Bean Soup (Crockpot Or Stovetop)
- 1 cup each of carrots *diced
- 1 cup celery *diced
- 1 medium yellow onion *diced
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 15 oz. cans great northern beans *drained & rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can pinto beans *drained & rinsed
- 3 cups ham *diced *see note below
- ½ teaspoon salt *see note below
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup reduced fat cream cheese
- ½ cup light sour cream
- 5.5 cups vegetable broth *3 cans
- Fresh chopped thyme leaves *optional & very delicious topping!
Recipe notes:Ham: no leftover ham? No problem! You can buy cooked ham in the dsection at the grocery store or ask to but sliced ham at the deli counter! You'll need about a pound. Salt: start with just ½ teaspoon and taste test once the soup is fully cooked. Add more if desired. Different brands of broth have varying sodium levels so starting slow will help prevent over salting your soup.
- Dice carrots, celery and onion.
- Measure olive oil into a large sauté pan on the stovetop. Turn heat to medium. Add diced veggies and sauté 5-10 minutes, until onions are becoming translucent.
- While veggies sauté, drain and rinse your beans and dice ham.
- Measure all ingredients into a large crockpot and add veggies once they're done sautéing. Mix everything together well and turn on the crockpot.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
- Ladle soup into serving bowls, add desired garnish / toppings and enjoy!
- If you don't have adequate time to make this soup in the crockpot, never fear! It's easy to make on the stovetop. Place a large stock pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add olive oil and veggies. Sauté for 10 minutes and then add all other ingredients. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes - that's it!
- Allow soup to cool. Place in an airtight, freezer/refrigerator safe container (consider using Souper Cubes if you'd like to freeze in portions). Refrigerate 3-5 days or freeze for 5-6 months. Reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop!
Did you make this recipe?!
Wahoo! Thank you so much for trying it out – would you leave a rating? Simply click on the stars in the recipe card above.