Ham Bean Soup: An Old Homestead Recipe

ham bean soup recipeThe forecast for Northwood, NH for the next week is solid rain, with a suggestion of cloudy on Monday. The good news is that most of the pre-last frost date plantings are completed, and even the rain we have so far is gentle enough so that we can work in the garden comfortably. 

The cold and chill are comforting in their way, and with the kids off for April vacation, we're spending some quality time together on the road and in the kitchen. Last night, we made Ham Bean Soup, a good old homestead recipe I learned in my youth.

Ham Bean Soup: An Old Homestead Recipe

ham bean soup recipe
Today, we're heading to our local garden center for some brussel sprout seedlings, and chances are Wendie will want same kale to put in for our Russian tortoise, Gus.

Bailey, our beautifully sweet Farm-Truck-Lake-Canoe-LoveBug-Yoga dog won't be coming as usual, simply because we're also taking the girls to the diner for lunch and it wouldn't be fair to leave Bailey Dog in the truck alone for so long.

But before we go, we wanted to share our bean soup recipe with you all. It's simple, with some prep time, but yummy as all get out and great for cold weather days like today. It makes a great base for experimenting, but for me, the simple way is the best. Try some carrots, other bean varieties or some spice to kick it up a bit.



  1. The night before, fill a large post with water and the package of white beans. Bring it to a rolling boil, until you have a good amount of beans floating up top. Turn off heat, cover, and let soak overnight. Because of the nature of the ham bone, its recommended not to add salt during cooking. If you want, some cracked pepper can be used for a bit of zing.
  2. When ready to prepare, return pot to a low heat, add in your ham bone (the more meat the better) and optional chicken broth and let it cook off a bit. taste the beans occasionally for tenderness. You can let it stay at a more watery consistency like a veggie soup, or cook it down further until it is thicker. We enjoy our ham bean bean soup thick. This should take about an hour or two.
  3. Serve hot with big spoons, bread, salad or your favorite what-have-you.

Coming to the End of April

ham bean soup recipe
We can usually get a couple of soups out of one bone. A spiral cut comes with a decent shank, and all of the meat won't fall off during the first cook. Being a sustainability-focused family, we try to use up everything we can, even if its means a repeat now and again.

So, Wendie is ready to go, and the girls are itching to get out of the house so it's time to hit the road. We love sharing our homesteading life with you all, and truly enjoy when you share you stories with us. 

Do you have your own spin on ham bean soup? Join the conversation below, and remember to subscribe for more homestead yumminess!


What a great idea to use that ham bone more than once! I usually give it to the oldest dog here! Love the recipe, very similar to mine! Thanks for sharing!
WT Abernathy said…
We love this soup:) It's great with our own ham, but when we buy those post-easter spiral hams for pennies a pound, it's time to really step up to the plate. It freezes beautifully, too:)
I love ham bean soup - a real winter warmer!
WT Abernathy said…
I grew up with it- to a point where white beans are a staple in the cupboard, next to the Annie's Mac n cheese:)