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15 Bean Soup with Ham and Vegetables is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind-of soup loaded with heart healthy beans, diced tomatoes, fresh onions, celery and carrots with plenty of spice and flavor. And, this soup freezes beautifully!
First, ham and bean soup has been a staple in our house for all the years we’ve been married. Every time we buy a bone-in ham, we make this giant pot of soup. Sometimes I think we look forward to this soup more than the actual ham. It’s that good. It may look a little overcooked and mushy, but that because I add extra red lentils. The lentils breakdown and give this soup a thick, creamy texture. The vegetables are added at the end so they stay crisp tender.
This soup will be great even if you don’t have a ham bone.
If you don’t have a ham bone, no worries. Use plenty of ham and the flavor will be there. When we have a ham for the holidays, we often leave a lot of ham on the bone so our soup will be on the meaty side. Once it’s cooked for a few hours, the ham just falls off the bone. My mom always made ham bone soup but she only used navy beans. We like the variety of the 14, 15 or even 16 bean soup packages. You can find packages of bean soup mixes in the dried bean section of your local grocery store. But no worries – use a package of navy beans if you can’t find the other!
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes indeed! This soup freezes beautifully and will last about 6 months in your freezer. When you’re ready to serve thaw overnight in the refrigerator then warm gently on the stove top. There’s no need to boil the soup. Finally, this soup is great served with cornbread or corn muffins, but crackers work well in a pinch too!
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15 Bean Soup with Ham
- 1 (20 ounce) package 15 bean mixture soaked overnight, 20
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 ham bone fat removed (feel free to meat on the bone)
- 1 cup ham cut into cubes (if there is enough ham left on the bone – no need to add additional chopped ham)
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice (regular diced tomatoes are fine too)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- several sprigs of fresh thyme
- Place the package of 15 beans in a large soup pot and cover with clean cool water by 3-4 inches. Cover the pot with a lid and soak the beans overnight or at least 8 hours.
- Pour the soaked beans in a colander and discard the soaking water. Rinse the beans and place them back in a large soup pot along with the lentils. And add enough clean, cool water to cover the beans and lentils by two inches. Add the ham bone and bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat.
- While the soup is cooking, you may need to skim any foam that forms on the top. You can use a very large serving spoon to make this easy. Discard the foam.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Next, remove the ham bone and set aside to cool.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, chili powder, lemon juice, garlic, celery, carrots, broth, thyme and pepper (and additional chopped ham if adding). Simmer another 30 minutes until the vegetables are crisp tender.
- While the vegetables are cooking trim any meat remaining on the ham bone. Return the chopped ham back to the soup and stir to combine. Discard the ham bone.
- Serve soup with corn muffins, cornbread, or crackers and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
Here are a few more soup recipes you might enjoy:
Everybody needs a big pot for making soup – here are a few of my favorite kitchen tools (photos are clickable for more information)
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Well that’s it for our pretty little holiday ham. But that’s okay – I’m ready to move on to some meatless Monday dishes and vegetable heavy simple casseroles and soups. Thanks so much for stopping by!