Leftover Ham and Bean Soup

Leftover Ham and Bean Soup

Leftover Ham and Bean Soup – perfect use of that leftover ham from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This soup is delicious, hearty and smells heavenly.


1 leftover ham bone
2 cups leftover ham chopped in cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 large onion chopped
2 medium carrots chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 whole parsnip peeled and cleaned
8 cups vegetable broth low sodium
19 ounces cannellini beans (1 can), drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley chopped

1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes until onion is tender.
2. Add garlic, ham, ham bone, parsnip, bay leaves and the broth. If you don’t have a ham bone, just skip it. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium. Let cook for about 30 minutes.
3. Add rinsed beans, cumin, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
4. Remove ham bone, bay leaves and parsnip. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Recipe Notes from Jo:
I don’t have leftover ham or ham bone, can I still make this: Yes! You can purchase a prepackaged ham from your local grocery store and use that instead of leftover ham. If you don’t have a ham bone, just skip it, it’s used to flavor the soup.

Can I chop up the parsnip: Yes, of course. I use a whole parsnip to simply flavor the soup, but I know some people prefer to actually eat, so in that case, chop it first, then add it to the soup.

Can I use dry beans instead of canned beans: Absolutely, just keep in mind that dry beans take longer to cook. You’ll need about 1 cup of dry beans for this recipe. Also if using dry beans, you can soak them in water overnight if you choose. Usually this is done to speed up the cooking process, however studies have shown that it will only cut about 10 minutes of cooking time.

How do I store leftovers: Store leftover soup in a covered glass or plastic container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Can I freeze this soup: Yes you can. While the soup will only last 3 to 4 days in the fridge, it can last up to a month in the freezer. Make sure the soup is cooled completely first. Use freezer bags for this such as gallon or quart-size top plastic freezer bags. Ladle soup into each bag then let out any excess air and seal. Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer. Once they’re frozen you can stack them to save space. To reheat, thaw them overnight in your fridge then pour them in a saucepan and reheat over low heat. You can also reheat them in the microwave.

• Prep: 10 Minutes
• Cook: 1 Hour
• Total Time: 70 Minutes