White Bean and Ham Soup

1 hour and 30 minutesServes 4-6
White Bean and Ham Soup


  • 1 lb dried cannellini, navy beans or a mix of your favorite soup beans
  • 1 large, meaty bone from a baked ham (about 2 lbs)*
  • 10 c chicken broth
  • 1 large sprig each of rosemary, sage and thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1½ c)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp each chopped thyme and sage
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Makes about 2 quarts

Place beans in a small soup pot. Tuck ham bone into the beans. Add broth, herb sprigs, bay leaves and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover the pot and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour.

Pour everything into a large bowl. Discard herb sprigs. When ham bone is cool enough to handle, pull meat from the bone, chop into bite-sized pieces and reserve. Discard bone and gristle. Rinse the pot.

Warm oil in the pot over medium heat. Stir in onion, carrot, celery and garlic; cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in reserved ham, beans and bean cooking liquid. Simmer gently for 15 minutes to combine flavors and warm through.

Stir in chopped thyme and sage, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

*If your ham bone isn’t very meaty, add 2 c chopped baked ham.

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