ham and bean soup in a bowl

We’ve officially emerged from the depths of the germ factory formerly known as our home! I don’t know whether to tent the house and set off a Lysol bomb, or move and start over.

Florida seems nice this time of year!

That is to say, all five of us have been horribly ill this month but Mama’s on the mend and pushing big steaming bowls of this incredibly easy Ham and Bean Soup under everyone’s noses. Sick or not, your whole family will devour this hearty and nourishing meal that’s made with minimal ingredients, including canned beans – no soaking required!

Oh yes you CAN get a full flavored, thick and creamy bean soup using canned beans. I’ll show ya.

overhead photo of ham and bean soup with green onions

What’s Inside

A base of sauteed vegetables, garlic, and pinch of dried herbs joins flavorful chicken stock, canned beans, and cubed ham steak before simmering for just 20 minutes. Between the rich stock and salty ham, which kind of self-seasons the dish, trust me – even if you can’t smell anything on account of being sick, you will definitely taste the flavor coming out of this soup.

I’m taking a few shortcuts with this recipe to get it on the table quickly without sacrificing flavor:

Loaded Potato Soup


Loaded Potato Soup

  1. Using canned beans vs dried. Using high quality canned beans will still give you a smooth and creamy soup – I promise! I use Bush’s Beans.
  2. Omitting ham bones. Cubed ham steak lends that signature, salty flavor we crave from Ham and Bean Soup without having to use ham bones.
  3. Choosing chicken stock vs broth. Chicken stock – vs chicken BROTH – is loaded with rich, layered flavor and makes this soup taste like it’s been simmering all day. I prefer Costco’s Kirkland brand chicken stock and Pacific brand chicken stock, both of which are gluten free.

Can I Make Ham and Bean Soup Without a Bone?

Totally. If you’ve got all the time in the world, tossing ham bones or a ham hock into your Ham and Bean Soup to slow cook is a no brainer, but if you want to get this luscious recipe on the table on a busy weeknight, diced ham steak is the way to go. I find ham steaks near the eggs and breakfast sausage in the grocery store. You can also ask the deli department to slice you a ham steak from one of their hams.

Lastly, this recipe is fabulous for using up leftover holiday ham. Dice it up then toss it in!

spoon taking a bite of ham and bean soup

What Beans to Use

I use Great Northern Beans in this recipe, which are creamy and not too large. Two other options are Cannellini beans, which are larger and a touch more firm than northern beans, and white navy beans which are the smallest and creamiest of the three. I prefer to use Bush’s canned Great Northern Beans, draining and rinsing them before adding to the soup.

How To Thicken Up Ham Soup

I use a light sprinkling of flour to give my Ham and Bean Soup a wonderful silkiness. The amount I’ve listed will give you an almost “Egg Drop Soup” consistency. If you want a thicker, creamer ham & bean soup, you can blend some of the beans with broth before adding to the soup.

Can Ham and Bean Soup be Frozen?

This recipe freezes beautifully. Cool the soup completely then scoop portions into Souper Cubes or Ziplock Freezer bags and freeze flat. Let thaw in the refrigerator 12 hours prior to meal time then pour into a soup pan and reheat over low.

homemade crostini dipping into ham bean soup

How to Make this Recipe

Step 1: Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat then add chopped carrots, celery, and onions. Season with salt and pepper then saute until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic that’s been pressed or minced, plus a pinch of dried thyme then saute until the garlic is extremely fragrant, 1-2 more minutes.

Step 2: Sprinkle in gluten free flour (or all purpose flour if you don’t need to eat GF), which gives the soup a luxurious silkiness, then stir and cook for 1 more minute.

Step 3: Slowly stream in chicken stock while stirring then turn the heat up to high to bring the stock to a bubble. Add canned Great Northern Beans that have been drained and rinsed plus cubed ham steak then turn the heat back down to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

What to Serve with Ham and Bean Soup

Crispy crostini are not only simple to make but fabulous for soaking up that luscious, savory broth. Here’s how to make homemade crostini:

  1. Slice a baguette (gluten free if you need it) into 1/4″ thick slices then place onto a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  2. Brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil then season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until crostini are golden brown, rotating the baking sheet once.

That’s all she wrote! Scoop the Ham and Bean Soup into bowls and you’re set. I hope you love this hearty, easy, flavor-packed soup recipe – enjoy!

bowl of ham and bean soup with sliced green onions

Similar Recipes

Ham and Bean Soup

5/5 (7 REVIEWS)


Ham and Bean Soup with canned beans is an easy bean soup recipe that's slightly thick, ultra hearty, and made with minimal ingredients.


serves 5-6

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion or 1 large shallot, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • big pinch dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten free flour blend
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2, 15oz cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1lb ham steak, cubed


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion/shallot, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic and dried thyme then saute until garlic is extremely fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour then cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Slowly add glugs of chicken stock while stirring until a smooth sauce has been formed then pour in remaining stock. Turn heat up to high to bring broth to a boil then add beans and ham. Turn heat down to medium-low then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scoop into bowls then serve with crostini (directions below.)


  • To make crostini: slice a gluten free baguette (or a regular baguette if you don't need to eat GF,) into 1/4" slices then arrange on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil then season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating the baking sheet once, or until crostini are golden brown.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of ham and bean soup