A hearty bean and ham soup recipe that is also budget-friendly can be difficult to find. And that’s why I love this recipe today! You only need 5 ingredients, which probably are already in your pantry. This soup is super meaty, loaded with flavor, and stuffed with nutrients that may help promote good heart health, amongst other things.
For more soup recipes, you can check out my blog. You will especially like my hearty Dominican Shrimp And Rice Soup or this Mexican Meatball Soup.
What Is A Ham Bone?
This cut comes from the bottom section of the pork leg. It consists of bone, connective tissue, fat, and some meat. This naturally makes it an extremely rich cut better suited for dishes like stews and soups rather than roasts.
The ham bone cut needs to cook for a long time. That’s because the connective tissue is tough and takes a while to soften completely.
While many people don’t love slow-cooking meats, there are many benefits in doing so, especially in this recipe.
First, it obviously helps tenderize the ham hock. Secondly, it creates a much more complex and rich flavor profile. And finally, it allows you to create an incredibly hearty bean and ham soup with minimal effort. Most of the time spent is hands-free. The work you will be doing adds up to about 10 minutes!
Can You Use Leftover Ham Bone For This Soup Recipe?
Believe it or not, I initially developed this recipe using a leftover ham bone. It makes the cooking time shorter and saves you a ton of money. At the end of the day, you only have to dig out $5 for the bean mix and some seasonings (which you likely already have on hand).
If your leftover ham hock is already cooked, you can remove the initial boiling time. However, if it is still raw, you have to boil it for 1 hour at first.
Ham and Bean Soup Ingredients
We have already discussed the ham bone part of this recipe, but what other ingredients do you need?
There are only four: 15-bean soup mix, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
You most likely already have garlic powder, salt, and pepper in your pantry. You can also use garlic cloves or garlic granules if you don’t have the powder.
For the 15-bean soup mix, you can buy it from any brand. Arguably the most well-known option is from Hurt’s.
A mix like this typically includes Northern beans, pinto beans, large and small lima beans, yellow eye beans, garbanzo beans, green and yellow split peas, red and white kidney beans, cranberry beans, small white beans, pink beans, red beans, black beans, and navy beans.
You shouldn’t use one kind of bean for this recipe. The mix is what makes it unique and uber-flavorful.
How To Freeze Your 15-Bean And Ham Soup
Once your soup has been cooked, immediately remove it from the heat. You have to leave the soup to cool at room temperature.
To help speed up the cooling process, decant the soup into a flat tray. This will increase the surface area and help the soup cool more quickly.
You should also place the soup in a well-ventilated area. The airflow will help cool the ingredients more rapidly. Just remember to keep the soup out of direct sunlight or open windows and doors.
When your soup is cooled, place it in a large freezer-safe Ziploc or resealable bag. Extract the maximum amount of air out of the bag.
Alternatively, use a container that is both airtight and safe for freezing.
Once sealed, wrap the bag or container in aluminum foil. This protects the foil from excess freezer burn.
Freeze your ham and bean soup for up to 6 months. As always, it’s best to use it as soon as possible.
How To Thaw Your Ham Bone Soup
When you are ready to eat your bean and ham soup, remove it from the freezer.
It is best to thaw the soup in the fridge overnight. However, if you are in a hurry, you can place the entire mixture in a pot and heat it over low heat. You may need to add a little bit of water to help prevent the pot from scorching.
If you do have any leftover soup, you can store it inside an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days. It’s always best to eat the soup as soon as possible or freeze any leftovers.
This soup is loaded with nutrients from the beans and meaty hock. A recent study has shown that ham bones contain peptides that may benefit your cardiovascular health. Plus, as you may already know, beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein, contains loads of vitamins and minerals, and is a fantastic ingredient that helps control your body weight and further benefits your heart health.
Budget-Friendly Bean And Ham Soup
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 1 (20 ounce) bag 15 bean soup mix + flavoring packet from package
- 8 cups water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- To start, combine the ham bone and water in a large stock pot. The water should cover the ham. Place a lid on the pot, set the heat to medium-high, and leave the ham to boil for 1 hour.
- Once the ham is cooked, add the bean mix and the seasoning packet. You can also add garlic powder, fine salt, and black pepper. Give the ingredients a good stir to ensure all the flavors are evenly distributed.
- Cover the pot again and leave the ingredients to cook over low heat for 30 minutes or so.
- After 30 minutes, remove the ham bone from the pot. Cut off all of the meat and place it back into the soup mixture.
- Cover the pot again and leave the ham and bean soup to simmer over medium heat for another hour.
- When the beans are cooked, remove the soup from the heat.
- You can serve your soup with crackers or crusty bread.
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