Ham & Bean Soup

One of our Christmas celebrations included a huge ham, so this bone has been sitting in our freezer crying out for use. I finally remembered to soak the beans last night so that we could try this recipe. It couldn’t be more basic, and it’s a very cheap way to make use of that throwaway ham bone. This soup was terrific on a wintry night. The Hippie Husband said that a dash of hot sauce made the soup even better.


  • A ham bone with some meat still attached
  • Water
  • 1 lb. navy beans, rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • MAYBE some additional kosher salt, but this depends on the ham. Don’t add salt until after you’ve tasted the soup!


  1. Place ham bone in a large stock pot and add water until the bone is barely covered.
  2. Bring water to a boil, cover, then reduce heat. Simmer up to 1 hour.
  3. Add beans, cover again, and simmer until the beans are soft. Start checking the beans after an hour. This took about 2 hours today.
  4. Add tomato paste, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Leave the pot uncovered and simmer until the veggies are cooked and the soup thickens, stirring occasionally. This will take awhile. I added too much water at the beginning, so we had to wait until the excess water evaporated. You can transfer it to the crock pot if you don’t want to babysit the pot for a few hours. It will take a little longer that way, but you can ignore it while the magic happens.
  5. Pull out the ham bone. Remove any meat from the bone and add the meat to the soup. Discard the bone.
  6. Taste soup, then add pepper to taste. Add salt if necessary.

Source: Pretty much every church or community group cookbook from the 70’s.


2 thoughts on “Ham & Bean Soup

  1. YUM! I used to not care too much for ham and bean soup until someone told me to add a little vinegar in the bowl before you eat it. AMAZING! Makes all the difference.

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