You don’t often hear a dish as simple as soup get called “crazy good” — but that’s the kind of praise that got thrown around when everyone in the TipHero kitchen tried this slow cooker ham and bean soup.
Whether you need a heartwarming dinner for a crowd, or make-ahead lunches for the whole week, it doesn’t get any simpler than crock-pot soup. With 10 minutes of prep time in the morning, all you have to do is throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and let the ham and beans cook down to a chunky, smoky broth.
Bean soup is so hearty and comforting, which you already know if you’ve made our vegetarian Tuscan white bean and kale soup.This time around, we wanted to create an easy bean soup that you could make in the slow cooker — and we wanted to add ham.
We always stock our pantry with dried beans because they’re so economical and healthy. But if you’re like us, you forget to soak your beans overnight and don’t realize until it’s too late — so you end up reaching for the can anyways. Our ham and bean soup recipe uses a dry bean soup mix, and there’s absolutely no soaking necessary.
With a bean blend, you get more than 10 beautiful varieties of beans in one soup without having to buy more than one package. Ours was a mix of navy, black, red, pinto, garbanzo, great northern, kidney, and lima beans, black-eyed, yellow split, and green split peas, and brown and red lentils. The rainbow of colors is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the stomach.
- Bundling the fresh herbs together with butcher twine makes it easier to remove the stems once the soup has finished cooking.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can substitute ½ teaspoon dried rosemary and 1 tablespoon dried thyme. (The general rule of thumb when substituting dried herbs for fresh is to use ⅓ of the amount called for, since dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor.)
Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 6 Hours 10 Minutes
- 1 (24 oz) package bean blend (13 – 16 varieties of dry beans), sorted and rinsed
- 2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
- 1 medium onion, medium dice
- 3 medium carrots, medium dice
- 1 pound smoked ham, diced (ham hock/ ham bone can also be used)
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
- 5 – 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 (15.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- With butcher twine, tie the fresh rosemary and thyme together.
- Place all of the ingredients except the diced tomatoes and salt & pepper into a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Cover the crock-pot and cook the soup on high heat for 4 hours (or on low heat for 6 hours.)
- If using a ham bone or hock, remove it from the slow cooker, cut any remaining meat from it, and add the meat back to the crock-pot.
- Add the diced tomatoes and their juice to the slow cooker, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook the soup for an an additional 2 hours on high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the herb bundle and the bay leaf before serving the soup with crusty bread or your favorite cornbread. (Here’s our favorite recipe for cornbread.)
Looking for more crock-pot soup recipes? Here are some of our faves:
- Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup
- Crock-pot French Onion Soup
- Crock-pot Zuppa Toscana
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup