White Bean Soup with Ham Bone….

My Grandma Inez always made white bean soup. It was the best tasting soup I can remember.  She used ham bones or ham hocks.  She was an amazing, old fashioned cook.  I loved her and I miss her so much.  This is a lovely way to keep her memory alive, isn’t it?  I always think of her when I make it.  This is my version of her white bean soup.

Don’t you love a dish you can just throw together in one pot?   When using dried beans, they need to be soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained before cooking.   I use a ham bone or you can use a ham hock for flavor, just like Grandma.   If you don’t don’t care to use a ham bone or a hock, use chicken stock instead of water for the liquid.  Make enough to freeze and enjoy later.

Here we go…

First sort the beans to remove any unwanted debris.  Soak overnight.  Simple put the beans in the pot you’ll be cooking them in and cover with about 3 inches of water.  You can see how much they’ve increased in size through re hydrating.  This will greatly decrease cooking time.  Drain and rinse.

My beans are ready….
Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and ham bone….
Add rosemary…..
And finally, add the water.  Bring to a simmer and cook for an hour or until the beans are soft.
Once the beans are fully cooked, remove the bone from the soup.  Cool until you can handle the bone and remove any bits of meat from the bone.  Add the meat to the soup and discard the bone.  Enjoy with Fresh Sage Cornbread. 

White Bean Soup with Ham Bone and Rosemary

1 pound of great northern beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked covered with water over night
1 ½ cups celery and leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ cups onions, finely chopped
1 ½ cups carrots, finely chopped
1 ham bone or smoked ham hock
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
8 cups water
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Add all ingredients to the beans in the soup pot. Over medium heat, bring soup to a simmer. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally, or until the beans are soft (this will require a taste). Remove the ham bone and pick off any meat and put into the soup, discard the bone. Add parsley. Taste before you season with salt and pepper.   Makes eight servings.

*note-sometimes dried beans you buy have been on the shelf for awhile.  This makes for a much longer cooking time.  Be patient.  Add additional water and keep cooking until the beans are tender. 
**this soup freezes well.



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  1. Leah Faye says

    Awesome! My great-grandma made white bean soup like this when I was young. I loved it, but I could never get the recipe from her. I haven’t had this soup since she died. Thanks so much for putting this up!

    • Awww, I love that you have such a beautiful memory of your grandma. I am so pleased that this recipe reminds you of her! Have a great evening:-)


  1. […] Warm a precooked ham at 350′ for 15 minutes per pound.  (example:  10 lb. ham x 15 = 150 minutes.  Divide 150 by 60 minutes=2 1/2 hours.  You want an internal temperature of 160′.  Even though it’s fully cooked, rewarming foods, especially meats, need to reach a certain temperature to make it completely safe.  Use an instant read thermometer or one you can put into the ham and leave while in the oven.  With the bone in, figure about 1/2 lb./serving.  Save the bone for soup! […]