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Hearty Ham Bone and Bean Soup Recipe

Hearty Ham Bone and Bean Soup Recipe


(8 Servings)


Transform your leftover glazed ham into a comforting and flavorful soup with this hearty ham bone and bean soup recipe. Infused with a medley of spices and a touch of heat from hot sauce, this soup is a satisfying meal that's perfect for any time of the year.


  • 1 Leftover Glazed Ham Bone
  • 1 lb Dried Navy Beans (450g)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic (12g)
  • 10 Cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Better Than Chicken Bouillon
  • 1.5 tbsp Hot Sauce (25g)
  • Seasoning Mix:
    • 1.5 tsp Dried Thyme
    • 1 tsp Cumin
    • 1 tsp Celery Salt
    • ½ tsp Paprika
    • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
    • ¼ tsp Black Pepper

Preparation Steps:

  1. Soak the dried navy beans in water overnight or for at least 8 hours to soften.
  2. Peel and dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  3.  Combine the dried thyme, cumin, celery salt, paprika, smoked paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl to create the seasoning mix.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat a large pan over high heat and sear the leftover ham bone on all sides to enhance the flavor. Then, transfer the ham bone to the crockpot.
  2.  In the same pan, add a tablespoon of neutral oil and sauté the diced onions until softened and golden brown.
  3. Add the minced garlic and seasoning mix, stirring until fragrant, then transfer the mixture to the crockpot, scraping down the sides of the pan to include all the flavors.
  4.  To the crockpot, add the soaked and drained navy beans, water, hot sauce, and Better Than Chicken Bouillon. Stir everything well to combine.
  5. Set the crockpot to cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6-8 hours, allowing the flavors to meld and the beans to become tender.
  6. Once the cooking time is complete, remove the ham bone from the soup. Shred any meat left on the bone and return it to the soup.


This ham bone and bean soup is not just a great way to use leftover ham but also a delightful dish that combines rich flavors and comforting warmth. Whether for a cozy dinner or a nutritious lunch, this soup is sure to please everyone at the table.


  1. Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans?

Yes, you can use canned beans as a time-saving alternative. You'll need about three to four 15-ounce cans of beans, drained and rinsed. Use only 8 cups of water and add them to the crockpot about 2 hours before the cooking time ends to prevent them from becoming too mushy.

  1. What if I don't have a leftover ham bone?

If you don't have a leftover ham bone, you can use about 2 lbs of ham hocks or smoked turkey legs as an alternative to infuse the soup with a similar smoky flavor.

  1. Is it possible to make this soup in a regular pot on the stove?

Absolutely! To make this soup on the stove, follow the same preparation steps for the ingredients. In a large pot, sear the ham bone and sauté the onions, garlic, and seasoning mix as directed. Add the soaked beans, water, bouillon, hot sauce, and the seared ham bone. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender and the soup has reached the desired consistency. Remember to stir occasionally and check the water level, adding more if necessary to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

  1. Can I make this soup in an Instant Pot?

Yes, this soup can be adapted for an Instant Pot. Use the sauté function to cook the onions, garlic, and seasoning mix, then add the soaked beans, ham bone, water, bouillon, and hot sauce. Cook on high pressure for about 30 minutes with a natural release.

  1. How can I thicken the soup if it's too watery?

If the soup is too thin for your liking, you can create a cornstarch slurry by combining 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl and adding it into the soup. Alternatively, let the soup simmer uncovered in the crockpot for an additional 30-60 minutes to reduce and thicken.

  1. Is this soup freezer-friendly?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then store it in freezer-safe containers or bags. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in a microwave.

  1. How can I adjust the spiciness of the soup?

Control the heat level by increasing or decreasing the amount of hot sauce, or by adding red pepper flakes for extra spice. You can also serve additional hot sauce on the side for individuals to adjust their own servings.

  1. What are some suggested garnishes for this soup?

Enhance the soup with garnishes such as chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, shredded cheese, sour cream, or crumbled bacon for added flavor and texture.

  1. What if I don’t have Navy Beans?

If you don't have navy beans, other dried beans like great northern or pinto beans can be used as a substitute.

  1. How should I eat this?

Eat this soup warm with some accompaniments like crusty bread or a side salad for a complete meal.

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