The Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup sounds like an ideal recipe for those colder months, especially when you have some leftover holiday ham waiting to be used. It’s a fantastic way to transform what might otherwise be overlooked ingredients in your freezer into a warm, comforting meal.
Ham and Bean Soup is the epitome of winter comfort food, offering a nourishing and hearty meal that’s surprisingly on the healthier side. The use of a slow cooker for this recipe is a stroke of genius, as it simplifies the cooking process significantly. You can just set it up, let the ingredients simmer together for hours, and be rewarded with a rich, flavorful soup that warms you from the inside out.
The combination of creamy white beans with the savory flavor of ham creates a delicious balance. It’s perfect for those days when you need something satisfying without putting in too much effort. Just the thought of coming home to a crock pot filled with this inviting soup is enough to make any winter day feel more bearable. Plus, it’s a great way to make the most out of your holiday leftovers, turning them into a completely new and delightful dish.
- ▢1 pound dried Great Northern OR navy beans, picked over
- ▢1 large smoked ham bone, ham hock, OR ham shank
- ▢2 cups (approximately 6 ounces) shredded, julienned, or diced carrots
- ▢1 medium stalk celery, sliced
- ▢4 cloves garlic, minced
- ▢7 cups low-sodium chicken broth OR stock
- ▢2 bay leaves
- ▢1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ▢1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- ▢1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ▢Freshly ground black pepper
- ▢Several dashes of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- ▢1 to 2 cups additional diced ham, optional
- Rinse and drain the beans and place them in the bottom of a large (7- to 8-quart) slow cooker. Nestle the ham bone/hock/shank in the center, and add the carrots, celery, and garlic on top. Carefully pour the chicken broth over the ingredients in the slow cooker, and then sprinkle with the bay leaves, parsley, celery salt, mustard powder, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Remove the ham bone/hock/shank. Pull any ham meat from the bone, shred, and set aside; discard the bone and any fat or cartilage. Use an immersion blender to puree just enough of the soup to give it a creamy consistency, leaving most of the beans whole. Stir the shredded ham (from the bone) into the soup, along with any additional diced ham you’d like to add. Allow to cook for a few more minutes until just heated through.