This slow cooker ham and bean soup is made with a mixture of dried beans, vegetables, tomatoes and diced ham, all cooked together for a hearty and flavorful meal. An easy crock pot dinner that’s perfect for a cold night!
I love to use my slow cooker to make soup, chicken tortilla soup and chicken tortellini soup are some of my favorites. This ham and bean soup takes just minutes to put together, then you can come home later in the day to dinner ready and waiting for you!
It’s soup weather, which means we’re having soup at least once a week. My kids love it, it’s easy to make and so many soups are a complete meal in one pot. This slow cooker ham and bean soup is on regular rotation at my house, and it’s also a great way to use up leftover ham.
How do you make ham and bean soup?
This recipe starts with a bag of dried beans. I use a bag of bean soup mix which comes with a bunch of different varieties of beans and peas mixed together. You can also use a bag of white beans if you prefer. The beans go into the crock pot, along with some veggies, diced ham and seasonings. The soup cooks for at least 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low. At this point, more seasonings get added to the soup, then let it simmer for another 20 minutes before eating. Add a sprinkle of parsley and enjoy!
Do you have to soak beans?
Many recipes call for soaking dried beans in water overnight. This can help your beans cook faster, but we’re using a slow cooker here so we’re not really concerned about speeding up the cooking process. In addition, in order to soak your beans, you need to plan way in advance so that the beans can soak for hours. For this recipe, just give your beans a quick rinse in a colander and pour them into the crock pot.
How do you make bean soup with a ham bone?
I didn’t include a ham bone in this recipe simply because I often don’t have one on hand to make this soup. If you’re looking for a recipe that utilizes a ham bone, check out my delicious ham bone soup!
Tips for ham and bean soup
- This recipe calls for carrots, onion and celery to be cooked in with the beans. The veggies will get quite soft from the extended cooking time. If you prefer firmer vegetables, you can add them in halfway through the cooking time, or cut your vegetables into larger pieces so that they don’t cook as quickly.
- I add a few sprigs of fresh thyme to this soup, the leaves fall off the branches as the soup cooks and then you can just extract the twigs before serving. If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried will also work nicely.
- Ham and bean soup is a great candidate for the freezer, and this recipe makes a large batch, so freeze some for another night! Place your soup into airtight containers or freeze bags, then freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw the soup in the fridge, then warm over low heat on the stove.
- I like to serve my soup with cornbread or baguette for a complete meal.
Ham and bean soup is so hearty and full of great flavors. I love the combination of beans here, all of the different colors and textures make this soup something special. Whether you’re looking to use up leftover ham or simply searching for a family friendly crock pot soup, this recipe is sure to be a hit!
More fabulous soup recipes
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- 50 Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Cabbage Roll Soup
- Hamburger Soup
Ham and Bean Soup Video
Ham and Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)
- 20 ounce bag dried bean soup mix
- 3/4 cup onion finely diced
- 3 carrots peeled, halved and sliced
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups diced ham
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes do not drain
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Rinse the beans thoroughly; set aside the seasoning packet for later use
- Place the beans, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, ham and chicken broth in a slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours, or until beans are done
- Stir in the tomatoes, seasoning packet, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
This post was originally published on December 19, 2018 and was updated on September 30, 2019 with new content.
Can’t wait to try but I have one question. Is there no need to soak the beans overnight? Receive states to just rinse them and add to crock pot directly out of the bag.
You do not need to soak the beans!
I am going to use your recipe this evening in readiness to eat tomorrow. This lasts us a couple of days and it really gets better the longer its left. I find this soup breaks down a little thickening the broth, even after cooking the first day. Your pictures show a lovely thin broth – any suggestions. Oh, I can’t wait! Walmart sells a pack of ham bone ends – already cooked and cut up – perfect for making soup without the fuss of a bone.
I hope you get this today. I didn’t pay attention and added the tomatoes in with everything else, will this mess the soup up? I’m really looking forward to eating this.
It should be fine, the acid in the tomatoes can make it take longer for the beans to soften!
So glad to have found this amazing recipe! Used my left over Thanksgiving ham and it was yummy!
This soup is outstanding! I found the 15 Bean Soup at Kroger in the dried beans aisle. I only put half the enclosed seasoning packet in with the tomatoes 20 minutes before serving. I hope this isn’t TMI but taking 2 Beano tablets before eating worked really well!
This dish turned out sooo good! Tasty and healthy, easy to make! The leftovers were just as good.
I HAVE A PAKAGE OF 9 BEANS TO MAKE THIS WITH, BUT NO SEASONING PACKET WITH IT. SUGGESTIONS?
That’s not a problem, just add salt and pepper to taste, along with 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder. If you have smoked paprika on hand, add 1/4 teaspoon of that too!
Add salt later in recipe. Salt causes beans to be mushy when added at beginning…!
I’m making another favorite recipe from you. My ham and multi dry bean soup is in the crock pot now for the past 4 hrs. It is starting to smell good in my house. I followed the recipe exactly and was fortunate to find a meaty hambone in the freezer that I defrosted last night. I do use low sodium chicken broth because the ham gives plenty of smokey salted flavor. One trick that I have learned when making bean soup with the dry beans is to hold off on adding the tomatoes until the beans are thoroughly cooked. Something about the acid in the tomatoes stops the beans from cooking…I think. It also gives a fresher tomato flavor to the soup when added at the end. So looking forward to enjoying this colorful soup later today on this chilly and damp PA April Saturday. Thanks again for a simply classic recipe!
Found the recipe last night and made it today. Still cooking, but the house smells fabulous and the soup looks delicious.
Still has another hour to cook and to add the tomatoes. Took a taste Yummy, Thank you for another fabulous recipe.
Made this soup today. Only changes I made was to omit the thyme (personal preference) and used great northern beans only no mix (could not find a bean soup mix.) Tastes wonderful. My husband of 42 years and I both agree best soup I ever made.
I soaked my navy beans overbite!! I did everything
Right! The flavor is delicious. The beans are semi hard🤪
This has me ever happened to me before. Any ideas?
Did you use just navy beans or the bean soup mix that the recipe calls for?
You could boil your beans after rinsing them for 1 hour 2 quarts of chicken or beef broth & then put all straight in crock pot. Or you could use water an drain beans then add to crock pot. This will begin and shorten the softening process.
Add 1/4 tsp of baking soda per pound of beans to soften the beans when cooking . Beans that are too old or when the water is too hard will never cook soft without this simple solution.
Snow coming tonight into tomorrow (Saturday) so it looks like a great soup-day. Rolling with this recipe with the bag of 15 beans (I don’t use the flavor packet – way too much sodium) soaking overnight and then our CHRISTmas ham bone in our 6 quart crock pot with the veggies. I like to use dried herbs from the garden for flavor: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme; as well as fresh garlic and ground black pepper. Always tasty.
Thanks for the recipe!!
Just following up on my first comment – this dish turned out absolutely wonderful. There wasn’t much meat left on the bone, so I added some sliced ham, as well as a few diced potatoes about an hour before it was all finished. Nine hours total, but well worth the wait; everyone loved it!
That is one delicious looking soup. Just perfect with the kind of weather we have been having. Soooo good!!!
The perfect winter soup with a lot of tasty ingredients!