Bean soup is one of the most underrated soups out there, but when it’s done right and made with love, you can’t beat it. This traditional ham and bean soup recipe is made from leftover holiday ham and holiday cooking ingredients, a few seasonings (like Dan-O’s Seasoning!), and a bag of dried great northern beans. You might have most of the ingredients already!
I like to make stock. You’ll see a lot of bean soup recipes where folks are putting ham hocks or a big ham bone in their soup, but that’s not always the best way. You can end up with a lot more fat and grizzle in your soup, and you’ll get the most flavor from stock. So anytime I get a ham, I leave some meat on the bone and toss it in with water, fresh herbs, onion, celery, garlic, and carrots and make some stock. I feel better about myself when I can skim off the excess fat, too.
You CAN use CANNED beans in this recipe, but let me tell you why you shouldn’t. Canned beans are already full of water and salt and it’s very hard for them to absorb flavor. You’ll save money with dried beans, and they’ll be better! When I soak my beans, I add garlic, bay leaves, a little salt, and some Spicy Dan-O’s Seasoning in the water as they soak overnight.
Some people put veggies in their bean soup, like carrots and celery. Not this guy. Just onions, garlic, and some finely minced jalapeno (you won’t even know it’s there) for me. Also, I am not very good at making a roux lol. So just watch some videos… but this should be a part of your soup if you want it to be creamier.
And there you have the perfect traditional ham and bean soup. 1 protein-packed bowl of it is like a warm hug on a cold day. Serve with a side of cornbread. Enjoy!
Looking for other great soup recipes? Try our easychicken and dumplings recipe.