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White Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe

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White Bean Ham Bone Soup is a simple yet utterly delicious and hearty soup. And a perfect use for that leftover ham bone from the holidays.

Ham Bone Soup in a White Bowl with Ham and Fresh Thyme

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Leftover Ham Bone

We almost always have a leftover ham bone following Christmas and Easter dinner.

If you’re like us and have one, put it to delicious use by making a pot of this incredibly easy soup.

And if you don’t have time now, freeze the ham bone for a later soup. You’ll be so glad you did!

Ham Bone Soup Recipe

While I love a holiday ham, I’m secretly dreaming of this ham bone soup bubbling on my stove the next day.

This soup is comfort food in a bowl. It’s hearty and contains only a few simple ingredients.

And the ham bone brings an amazingly delicious, holiday-type flavor to the soup.

What kind of beans should I use?

I am very partial to navy beans in this ham bone soup recipe. However, feel free to substitute your favorite white bean.

While I love all beans, honestly, the flavor and texture of white beans are a favorite. If you’re a fan, you might like our 15 Minute White Bean Soup with Vegetables, or our Classic Ribollita Tuscan Bean Soup recipe.

If you’re a salad fan, you’ll love our 10 Minute Make Ahead White Bean Salad

Dried Beans

Although this recipe calls for one pound of dried white beans, like navy beans, you can easily swap them for canned beans. Skipping altogether the soaking step.

One cup of dried beans equals 3 cups of cooked beans.  And 2 cups of dried beans equals a pound.

If you swap 3 to 4 cans of cooked beans, that should be plenty. Each can of beans contains just under 2 cups.

Raw ingredients in White Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe

Ingredients in Ham Bone Soup

Any size ham bone will work, just make sure it fits into your pot. If it has some attached ham scraps, all the better. You will also need 1 to 2 cups of ham, chopped.

One large onion, celery stalks, garlic, and fresh thyme.

I love the flavor combination of ground cumin, oregano, and a dash of red pepper flakes.

Top view of Ham Bone Soup with fresh thyme

How to Make Ham Bone Bean Soup

Begin by soaking dried beans in a large bowl overnight. You will want to cover the beans with 3 inches of water above the beans. 

Once the beans have soaked, begin making the soup. Saute the onions and celery until just softened. Then add the ham bone, ham, garlic, soaked beans, and spices to the large soup pot or Dutch Oven.

Cover with water, about 9 cups, and bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 60 to 90 minutes.

Remove the ham bone and serve!

Pot of simmering Ham Bone Soup.

How to Store This Soup

This ham soup freezes beautifully for quick, hearty meals, but it can also be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.

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Ham Bone Soup in a White Bowl with Ham and Fresh Thyme

White Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

White Bean Ham Bone Soup is a simple yet utterly delicious and hearty soup. And a perfect use for that leftover ham bone from the holidays.


  • 1 pound dried navy beans (* see notes)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 cups leftover ham, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 9 cups water


  1. Add dried beans to a large bowl and cover with water to 3 inches above the beans. Cover the beans and soak them overnight in the refrigerator. Drain, rinse when ready to use, and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Saute the onions and celery for a couple of minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the ham bone, leftover chopped ham, garlic, drained beans, thyme, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cover with 9 to 10 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the soup comes to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Stir occasionally but keep the soup covered.
  4. Remove the ham bone and discard, pulling any remaining ham from it and stirring it into the soup. Add water as necessary to thin the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Substituting Canned Navy Beans

  • If you want to skip soaking the beans, you can swap 3 to 4 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 553mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 16g

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