Recipe for Ham and Bean Soup

A fantastic weeknight meal that is quick and filling is the ham and bean soup dish. There are several variants of this dish. While some are creamy as the beans break down into the soup, others tend to drift into the broth territory and leave the beans more or less whole. My adaptation combines flavorful vegetables, soft whole, puréed navy beans, fresh and dried herbs, and smoked ham hocks to create a hearty soup that resembles a stew and is layered with taste and texture.

Different types of white beans can be used in preparing this dish. Navy, great northern, and cannellini are the most widely used. The final consistency is highly influenced by the bean you select. Cannellini and Great Northern beans, out of the three varieties, maintained their structural integrity the best, resulting in a soup with noticeable, conspicuous whole beans. Great Northern beans, whose flesh is the firmest of the three, were mixed to produce a soup with a little gritty and coarse texture. However, despite having a creamier soup, cannellini beans couldn’t compete with my favored option. Navy bean was my favorite of all. It produced the richest and creamiest soup.Recipe for Ham and Bean Soup

Preparing the dish

I choose the quick soaking method, to begin with, and omit the techniques for hastening the bean-tenderization process, such as adding baking soda to the pot, because the ham hocks must cook for a long period anyhow, making a bean-cooking shortcut irrelevant. In order to extract their flavor and moisture, I soften a mixture of onion, carrots, celery, and garlic by sweating it. When the vegetables are finished cooking, I scrape them into a bowl and set them aside (this will keep the vegetables soft rather than turning them into mush as everything simmers and provide texture to the soup). The smoked ham hocks, drained beans, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and water are added next. I keep the lid on for the majority of the cooking time to prevent the liquid from evaporating and reducing.

As soon as the beans are soft and supple, I retain some of them, remove the ham hocks and herbs, then combine some of the remaining beans into a purée that will help give the soup its creamy texture.
Finally, I add the meat from the hocks, beans, and reserved veggies in the end and cook everything together until the soup is almost stew-like in consistency.


● 450g dried navy beans
● 5 quarts (4.7L) water, divided
● Salt
● 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
● 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
● two small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
● two celery ribs, roughly chopped
● two medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
● two sprigs of fresh thyme
● two sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, plus finely chopped parsley leaves and tender stems for garnish
● one bay leaf
● 1.1kg smoked ham hocks
● Freshly ground black pepper


1. Beans, 3 quarts (2.8L) of water, and salt should be combined in a 4-quart saucier. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the food soak for a full hour. Beans should be rinsed and then drained.
2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a big Dutch oven until it shimmers. Cook the onions, carrots, and celery for about 10 minutes, stirring periodically until they are tender. Add the garlic and cook for about 60 seconds, stirring regularly, until it begins to smell good. Place the vegetables in a little heatproof bowl and leave aside.
3. The remaining 2 quarts (1.9L) of water, along with the ham hocks, parsley, and bay leaf, should be placed in the same Dutch oven. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil; then, reduce heat to a low simmer. Ham hocks should be cooked for about an hour with the lid on.Recipe for Ham and Bean Soup
4. Add the beans and bring the mixture back to a gentle simmer. If necessary, adjust the heat. For about two hours, simmer the beans under cover until they are totally soft and the meat is falling off the bones, stirring halfway through. Throw away the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Ham hocks should be moved with tongs to a cutting board and left there for 20 minutes or until they are safe to handle. Transfer 2 1/2 cups of the beans to a medium heatproof bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
5. When the ham hocks are cool, use a sharp knife to roughly chop the meat; throw away the skin, bones, and fat. Place aside.
6. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until it is smooth. Return the reserved beans, pork, and vegetables to the pot and mix to incorporate. Bring back to a gentle simmer, then cook for another 20 minutes or so, stirring now and then, until the ham is heated through and the vegetables are fork-tender. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Pour soup into bowls that have been warmed up and top with parsley and pepper.

By Elijah Hughes

You’re on a lifestyle and wellbeing journey, and you want to have fun while traveling across the world. We’re right with you! Because how you feel influences each day of your life, you try so hard to become healthy and enjoy every moment of it. We’re here to help, give advice, and inspire you no matter where you’re going. We cut through the clutter with uncomplicated, expert-reviewed, first-person experiences aimed at assisting you in making the best decisions for yourself and the people you love.