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A Nourishing and Hearty Ham Bean Soup Recipe

Updated on January 8, 2014

Ready to enjoy


  • Cubed or shredded ham ... this time I used half of a 1/2" thick center cut ham. A ham bone with some leftover pieces is an excellent choice but I used what I had on hand.
  • Onion slices ... sometimes I use my Little OsKar to chop the onion.
  • Two regular size cans of great northern or any smaller white bean (drained)
  • One carrot ... use a potato peeler to make long thin strips. (Optional ingredient but I would recommend adding the carrots)

Saute the onion in oil in a large pan or kettle with cubed ham steak. If you are using a ham bone with meat, just add that to the kettle once the onion is finished sauteing. Add two cups of water, the carrot, and simmer for an hour or so. Add dried parsley and beans, simmer again for about an hour. If the broth is thin, mix a tablespoon corn starch with water and add to the soup mixture. Simmer 15 minutes or until the corn starch is 'cooked'.

About the little Oskar

You are going to assume that I did a formal comparison of small food processors but, actually, one of my brothers was named Oscar. What choice did I have? Saw the name and bought it. I have used mine for years and love it.

There are others which, I am sure are just as efficient and easy to use.

On the stove

Ready to simmer
Ready to simmer

Variations and special instructions

  • This time, I used a large stainless steel skillet so that the pictures would turn out better but any good-sized pan would do. When making thick soups or other foods that have a propensity for sticking, I use a straight edge stainless steel turner (I call them spatulas) to stir but never use a non-stick turner.
  • Some people find that onions cause a digestive disturbance so, when anyone with this issue is eating with us, I slice the onions so they are easy to remove with a fork.
  • Some also object to the taste of dried parsley and, if so, I powder it by rubbing between two fingers so that it isn't apparent.
  • I have an excellent sense of taste and really do not notice the flavor of carrots in the soup because of the way they are prepared. Carrot chunks, however, do have a definite taste and that is why I use a potato peeler instead of just cutting them into pieces.
  • Sometimes, we enjoy a dollop of sour cream with the navy bean soup (we used this type of bean on the farm but I have not seen them in the store though I still often call the soup by that name). This does give the soup an interesting flavor.
  • I also enjoy a sprinkle of ground mustard on mine ... use just a sprinkle until you decide you'd like more.
  • If you do not want to use corn starch as a thickening agent, rice flour or tapioca flour works just as well.
  • Other variations and suggestions: garlic or garlic powder; a salt-less seasoning mix; lemon pepper. Just put some soup in a very small bowl, sprinkle on a seasoning, one of these or one you like that seems compatible and check the flavor.
  • Adding a sprinkle of grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese to the soup after transferring to the bowls makes it very tasty also.
  • Serve with corn bread, your favorite rolls, crackers, or corn fritters.

Differences in acceptance of foods

Someone reading this Hub might think I'm too lenient with some people's dislike of or objections to certain ingredients and/or foods. I'd rather go, not a mile, but an extra few inches to make sure good food is not thrown away and to avoid an argument. I don't always understand when someone complains that they hate the texture of zucchini but willingly will eat an English cucumber. Cocoanut is also a texture issue to some and the list goes on and on. In the past, I hated celery and now I love it. In the past, I loved mushrooms in speghetti. Currently, I cannot tolerate them but this could be contributed to eating one that was not 'good'. Anyway, perhaps I am too accepting of people's intolerance to specific foods but, hey, why not?

Coming up!

I hope you enjoy making and eating this ham and bean soup. I will be sharing recipes for other excellent soups and stews, more with meat and some vegetarian.


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    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 4 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Thanks so much for your comments. I'm going to be putting up more Hubs with great soup/stew recipes.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love these ham and bean soups -- they're good enough to eat like a meal. Voting this Up and Useful.