This Crockpot Bean Soup with Ham is a delicious soup that could not be more simple to make! A ham hock (or leftover ham bone), veggies and a bit of tomato paste make a rich, flavorful broth. The soup slow cooks for over 6 hours and there is very little prep time–that means a cozy bowl of soup is one the table without much effort at all! Score!
Old Fashioned Bean Soup with Ham is such a classic recipe! This is one of my dad’s favorite soups and over the years he has perfected it — this is his recipe!
Need other cozy soups? Try this similar 15 Bean Soup with Ham! This Easy Chicken Noodle Soup is on-point for soup season and if you want a bit of richness, DO NOT miss this Cheesy Velveeta Potato Soup!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Easy Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup:
Beans: Dry navy beans are traditional, but you can experiment with different types of beans (or different combinations). Some good ideas: cannellini beans, great northern beans, white kidney beans, or a bean soup mix like this Hurst 15 Bean Blend.
Ham Hock: Ham hocks can typically be found at the grocery store, usually in a large freezer case near the meat section. If you can’t find them, ask the butcher…in my experience, they are not super easy to find!
Using a ham bone from a leftover holiday ham also works perfectly!
Tomato Paste: Not traditional, but adds the perfect balance and depth of flavor to this soup!
HOW TO MAKE CROCKPOT BEAN SOUP WITH HAM: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Add ALL ingredients to your slow cooker and give everything a big stir.
Step 2: Slow cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours, or on LOW for 8-10 hours until beans are tender. Taste, and season with salt only if needed. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Step 3: Carefully remove ham hock from the the slow cooker. With a fork, shred meat off the ham hock. Stir meat into the beans and discard leftover ham hock. Enjoy!
No need to soak your beans! Beans are typically soaked to speed up the cooking time and to break down some of the complex sugars in the beans, making them easier to digest. Since this soup slow cooks for over 6 hours, there is no need to soak the beans overnight!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store leftover bean soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days…this soup gets more delish as it sits!
- Reheating: Reheat soup in a pan on the stove over medium heat. For ease, use the microwave! Cover the soup loosely with a paper towel and reheat on medium power.
- Freezing: This slow cooker soup freezes beautifully! Cool soup completely Then place in a freezer-safe container. You can also pour soup into a freezer bags and store flat in the freezer. Soup can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Additions & Substitutions
- Make it Spicy: Add a little chili powder, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce for a little kick!
- Spice it Up: Experiment with different dry spices in your soup such as dried rosemary, thyme or garlic powder.
- Chicken Broth: Chicken stock, vegetable stock or water can also be used.
- Beans: Although navy beans are traditional, you can experiment with different types of beans (or different combinations). Some good ideas: cannellini beans, great northern beans, white kidney beans, or a bean soup mix like this Hurst 15 Bean Blend.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Dry navy beans are the most traditional beans used for ham and bean soup. However, you can use other kinds to dry beans such as: annellini beans, great northern beans, white kidney beans, or a dry bean soup mix like this Hurst 15 Bean Blend.
Traditional ham and beans recipes are typically SUPER SIMPLE–just water, beans, carrot/celery, salt and a ham hock. Although this is good and simple, my recipe adds a few little “extras” that make the flavor much more rich!
The addition of tomato paste and a tiny bit of sugar really kick up the flavor and balance out the soup perfectly. You can also add a bit of acid (a couple teaspoons of vinegar or lime juice) to help brighten the flavors.
Beans are typically soaked to speed up the cooking time and to break down some of the complex sugars in the beans, making them easier to digest.
However, since we are slow cooking this soup for 6++ hours, there is no reason to soak them beans beforehand.
Yes, you absolutely can. However note that the slow cooking time will be a lot less, and the depth of flavor from the veggies and the ham hock won’t be nearly as rich and delish!
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
SERVE THIS NAVY BEAN SOUP WITH…
Easy Crockpot Bean Soup with Ham
- 16 oz. package dry navy beans
- 1 medium-large ham hock See Note 1
- 1-2 large bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, diced about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
- 1-2 medium carrots, peeled and diced about 1 cup
- 1-2 large celery stalks, diced about 1/2-1 cup
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 5 cups chicken broth or enough to cover everything completely can substitute water or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- ground black pepper and fresh parsley, for serving optional
- Add: Add all ingredients to your crock pot and stir well.
- Slow Cook: Slow cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours, or on LOW for 8-10 hours until beans are tender. Taste, and season with salt only if needed. Remove and discard bay leaf.
- Shred and Serve: Carefully remove ham hock from the the slow cooker. With a fork, shred meat off the ham hock into small pieces. Stir meat into the beans and discard leftover ham hock. Ladle ham and bean soup into bowl, top with some freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.
- Optional: If you want your soup to have a more creamy consistency, remove a few cups of the beans from the slow cooker. Mash them a bit, then stir them back into the soup. You can also use an immersion blender until you get the exact consistency you like!