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Classic Ham & Bean Soup (Shortcut Method)

Classic Ham & bean soup.

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Classic Ham & Bean Soup (Shortcut Method)

This ham and bean soup is fall comfort food at its best. Using canned navy beans, this recipe is my shortcut method for this classic ham and bean soup. With carrots, potatoes, and an irresistible broth created from a bone-in hickory smoked ham steak. This meal is made simpler by using a fully cooked smoked bone-in ham steak. I chop all the veggies for the soup in a food processor to save time. One can of beans pur’eed in the food processor thickens the soup and makes it even more delicious.

In my family, we are all big soup fans. I also love to make soup because it is a one-pot meal with fewer dishes to wash afterward. This delicious ham and bean soup has been one of my family’s favorites for years, and they start asking for it often as soon as the weather gets cool enough. My grandma Clara made her contribution to this recipe by suggesting that I add potatoes to my ham and bean soup because it makes it better. The potatoes definitely made it heartier and tastier, so I have been including them ever since.

Vegetables for soup.

Chop vegetables into large chunks.

Then add them to the food processor and pulse just enough to break them into small bite-sized chunks. Skip peeling the vegetables, wash thoroughly and remove any blemishes. Use a scouring pad to remove the outer layer of potato peels.

Navy beans in a food processor.

My little Cuisine Art food processor is the star in this recipe.

I use canned beans rather than dried because easier is always better in my book. Canned beans are one of the few foods that do not lose any nutritional value when canned. My little Cuisine Art food processor is the star in this recipe because it eliminates the need for chopping all of the vegetables. I also skip peeling the carrots and potatoes. I simply clean them well and remove any blemishes prior to chopping.

Do not overpulse the vegetables in the food processor

I use a scouring pad on the potatoes to remove the outer layer of skin and any dirt. You will want to pulse the vegetables carefully, just enough to break everything into bite-sized chunks. Overpulsing will result in grinding the vegetables too small. I also use the food processor to puree one can of beans, which thickens up the soup without raising its fat content. My small food processor is a staple in my kitchen and a tool I use all the time. It makes my life easier because it speeds up food prep and helps me to get food on the table faster.

I used to have a large food processor that rarely used. I find that most of the time, the small one does the job, and cleaning it afterward takes much less time than cleaning the big one. It is also perfect if all you need to do is chop an onion.

Classic Ham & bean soup.

Classic Ham and Bean Soup (shortcut method)

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This hearty classic ham and bean soup recipe has tender chunks of smoked ham, carrots, potatoes, and navy beans in a rich broth, thickened with pureed navy beans. Canned beans and a food processor shortens the preparation time and allows you to get a classic meal on the table in 35 minutes without doing any chopping.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Stockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 Med. Potatoes
  • 1 Med. Onion
  • 2-3 Carrots
  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 3 14 oz Cans Navy Beans Divided
  • 8 Cups Chicken or Ham Broth
  • 1 Pound Bone-In, Smoked Ham Steak
  • 3/4 tsp Dried Crushed Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2- 3/4 tsp Salt to taste

Instructions
 

Prepare the Veggies

  • Cut all vegetables into large chunks and place in a food processer. It is not necessary to peel carrots and potatoes as long as they are thoroughly washed.  Carefully pulse just enough to break vegetables into bite-sized chunks.  Do not overpulse.  

Add Remaining Ingredients

  • Add vegetables, broth, and ham steak including the bone and bay leaves to a large stockpot, (no need to chop it into small pieces yet) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add vegetables and remaining ingredients except 1 can of beans. Simmer with lid on the pot until the vegetables are tender.  

Puree the Beans

  • Pour 1 can of beans (drained) into the food processor and pulse to a paste, add them to the pot, and stir well. 

Chop the Ham

  • Remove meat and bay leaves from the pot and let it cool on a cutting board. Discard bay leaves and ham bone. Once cool enough to handle, chop ham into bite-sized chunks and carefully remove any fat. Replace into the pot.  Simmer for 5 minutes until heated through and serve.

Notes

I usually purchase a slice of smoked bone-in ham steak that is approximately 1/2 inch thick.  You can also use a smoked ham bone with some leftover meat attached, but be sure that it is smoked and not honey-baked. It is important that the ham be smoked because this adds to the flavor of the broth significantly.
Classic Ham & bean soup.
Keyword Ham & Bean Soup

I am Laura

Who I am is a Southern California turned small town, Midwest Mom. I am wife to Bruce, and mom to my three girls who are all now in college. I enjoy spending time with our quirky pup, Ollie, working in my little garden, and experimenting in the kitchen. I am dedicated to keeping my life as simple as possible and to helping others do the same.

It is my deepest hope that you will find resources here that will bring you closer to living a simpler, more intentional, and more peaceful life. 

always have

something

beautiful 

in your space…

…but let it be

as simple

as a daisy

in a vase.

 

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