How to Make Bean Soup
Learn how to make bean soup, and you'll always have a hearty, nutritious, and inexpensive meal, any night of the week.

Canned beans are a great time saver, but they're often high in sodium and more expensive than dried beans. If using dried beans, you need to soak them before cooking. The beans can be soaked overnight (8 hours) in cold water, or for quick prep, they can be brought to a boil and covered for 1 hour. Either way is fine, but it's a step that can't be skipped or the beans will be hard.

Beans are loaded with protein--just one cup of beans provides as much as 16 grams. According to the USDA's nutritional guidelines, beans satisfy requirements of both the protein and vegetable groups. They're also an excellent source of fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium. Beans are part of the legume family, which also includes peas, lentils and peanuts.

Add some vegetables to the soup, such as parsnips, spinach, carrots and celery, and the soup becomes a one-pot meal. If you're taking the time to soak beans and make the soup, we recommend doubling the recipe freezing the other half.

Transcript
-Hey every, Chef Lovely here. Today, we are gonna make a ham and bean soup with vegetables. So, let's get straight to it. Here are the ingredients: 1 cup dry navy beans; 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds meaty smoked pork hock or 1 to 1-1/2 pound meaty ham bone; 1 cup chopped onion; 1/2 cup sliced celery; 1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules; 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley; 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme; or teaspoon of dried thyme, crushed; 1/4 teaspoon of pepper; 2 cups of chopped parsnips or rutabaga; 1 cup sliced carrots; 1 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained. Now, I know it seems like those are a lot of ingredients, but each ingredients is necessary to make this dish fantastic. So, let's get started. First thing we wanna do, we're gonna put our beans and 5 cups of cold water in our pot here. We're gonna bring this to a boil. So, we've added in our beans. Now, let's go ahead and add in 5 cups of cold water. We're gonna get the heat on. After about 2 minutes, we're gonna reduce it down. We're gonna put the lid on and then we're gonna let it sit for 1 hour. I know you don't have any patience. I don't have either because I like to eat, but it's very, very important that you let it sit for 1 hour and after those hours up. I'm gonna show you how we bring the rest of those ingredients together to our delicious dish for you today. So, our beans have sit for 1 hour. Now, we're gonna add in some more delicious ingredients to really back up the flavor for this dish. So, here are the pork hocks. We're gonna add that in. This is gonna give a rich, smoky, intense flavor. Okay. We're gonna add 5 cups of cold fresh water. You don't wanna use the water that you use to soak your beans because that water has a lot of starch maybe a little dirt in there and we don't want that. So, go for fresh, clean water, now aromatic vegetables. We're gonna add in some onion. Make sure we get all of that in. We're gonna add some celery. We're gonna add our chicken bouillon base here. Add that in, deep flavor yet again, a little bit of pepper. We have to season our food, fantastic, some fresh thyme and some parsley. We're gonna put that in as well. Make sure we get all of that great beautiful flavor. So, we're' gonna give this a mix. I'm gonna turn on my fire now. We wanna bring this to a boil. Stir in these beautiful flavors. Make sure we are incorporating all of those fresh herbs, the onion, the celery. It's gonna be fantastic. Now, that we have all of our ingredients in the pot. We're gonna bring it to a boil. Then, we're gonna reduce it down to simmer. We're gonna let this cook for an hour and 45 minutes. Then, we're gonna add in the rest of our root vegetables. It's gonna be delicious. So, don't go anywhere. We're almost done. So, let's remove our pork up here. We're gonna put it on a plate, so that it can cool down and later, we're gonna cut off this tender and flavorful meat. So, we can add it back into our soup to add a nice meaty texture. So, let's sit this one aside. Now, we have our rutabaga and we have our carrots. We're gonna add that in, and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna slightly mix up our beans that mash them just a little bit. While doing this, what's gonna happen is our soup is gonna thicken just a little bit. So, kind of just push it up against the side with the back of a wooden spoon, so that about half of the beans get smashed, so really, really easy. Kind of get your workout there for the day with your arm here, and I'm gonna turn my fire back on to a medium heat so to that we can cook those vegetables that we just added in. So, again, really easy, the back of your spoon here, mash, mash, mash, so that we thicken up our soup just a little bit. Okay, there we go. I like how this is looking, so about another 15 minutes on this stove. This is gonna cook, and then when we come back, we're gonna chop up this meat. We're gonna add in our spinach, and then guess what it's time to eat. Okay, so we've added our rutabaga. We've added our carrots. It's cooked for about 15 minutes. The vegetables are nice tender and all those beautiful big flavors are coming together. I'm gonna give it a quick stir here. Umm, smells so good, fantastic, so our pork hock. We will let them cool and as you see I've already cut 1 up here. So, I'm gonna take my second on. I'll put it on the cutting board here, off the plate to the cutting board and we're gonna cut the meat off, and we're gonna throw away the bone. We're extracted all of the beautiful flavor from the bone, and the meat, so we no longer need it. So, kind of just feel your way around, getting all of that meat out that we can add to our soup. Okay, throw this away. Now, we're just gonna roughly chop it. It's a little bit fatty and we don't want the fat. All of that flavor from the fat is already in our dish. So, we're only interested in the meat here. So, rough chop go you get nice bigger pieces of the meat and your soup. Okay, here we go. I will just gonna add it to our plate here. Remember, hold those fingers back. That's a little bit of fat. We don't want that. So, we are gonna get rid of that, only going for the meat, fantastic. This is gonna give our soup tons of body and of course, great, great flavor. So, here we go. Last little bit of meat here. My grandma will be so proud of me right now. This is actually one of her favorite meals, and being from Chicago, we love things that warm us up. Okay, rough chop last few pieces of meat here, fantastic. Put it all in our plates. Now, we can go and add it to our soup. Let's damp that in juices and all, look at that, fantastic. Let's get this out of the way. Give this a really good stir, and we're gonna add in our spinach as well. So, let's go ahead and do that. Now, this looks like a lot of spinach, but trust me, as soon as it hits this heat, it's gonna welt down and really incorporate into our soup. So, we're gonna add half now. Give it a quick stir. It's gonna welt down, and then we're gonna add our remaining spinach in a just a few seconds. There we go. So, we wanna take the hot soup underneath, fold it right on top of the spinach to welt it down. That looks great. It's adding color, beautiful spinach leaves, love that, okay. That's going with our remaining spinach here. Oh, oh, spinach overboard, can't get away from me. Okay, there we go. We're gonna press it down into our soup. Let it welt. So, we wanna heat through that meat, and we want to add our spinach in, and we're gonna just let this continue to sit on the stove roughly about 2 to 3 minutes, and it's going to be time to eat. So, we're gonna come right back, and we're gonna plate up this dish. Okay, as you can see, our spinach welted down. Our meat has heated through completely. Now, let's plate up this dish. This is definitely love in a bowl, I tell you. Hearty, rich flavors, fresh vegetables, and lots of love. There we go, wow. Umm, smells good, looks good. So, let's taste just a little bit. Okay, that's the party in my mouth right now. So, excuse my little dance that I'm doing. The sweet from the carrots, it's really rich and thick from the pork cut that we have in here, the spinach as nice fresh green kind of bite. I'm enjoying this. I want you to enjoy it too. So, make this dish and don't forget to save me some.
What You'll Need
  • 1   cup dry navy beans
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2  pounds meaty smoked pork hocks or one 1- to 1-1/2-pound meaty ham bone
  • 1   cup chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup sliced celery
  • 1   tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1   tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
  • 1   tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4  teaspoon pepper
  • 2   cups chopped parsnips or rutabaga
  • 1   cup sliced carrots
  • 1  10  ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained


Step By Step
1
Rinse beans. In a Dutch oven combine beans and 5 cups cold water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. (Or, skip boiling water and soak beans overnight in a covered pan.) Drain and rinse beans.
2
In the same pan combine beans, 5 cups fresh water, pork hocks or ham bone, onion, celery, bouillon granules, parsley, thyme, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1-3/4 hours. Remove pork hocks or ham bone; set aside to cool. Mash beans slightly. Stir in parsnips or rutabaga and carrots. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3
Meanwhile, cut meat off bones and coarsely chop. Discard bones. Stir meat and spinach into saucepan. Cook until heated through. Makes 4 or 5 servings.


Make Ahead Tip
  • Prepare soup; cool slightly. Transfer to 1-to 4-serving size freezer containers. Seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, transfer frozen soup to saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally to break apart.
More Recipes
This classic bean soup is easy and packed with flavor. Serve it with hot corn bread or corn muffins.
Comfort food! Ham and bean soup takes on a new look with the colorful addition of parsnips, carrots, and spinach.
Homemade ham and bean soup with a taste of Jamaica can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes.
The crisp crunch of coleslaw adds extra texture to this warm and hearty bean soup recipe. To save time, use coleslaw mix found in the produce section.
For a hearty Italian-seasoned bean soup ready in under 30 minutes, use packaged vegetables and canned beans and broth.
Serve this hearty high-fiber bean soup recipe for dinner on chilly evenings.
You'll have dinner in 15 minutes with this recipe. Beans, tomatoes, and spices combine to make a healthy one-dish meal.
Using lean ground turkey breast keeps this 20-minute dinner low in fat.
The addition of white beans to creamy potato soup boosts the protein to main-dish levels.
Beef brisket and a ham hock make this hearty diabetic soup a main dish that needs no sides. It would also be tasty with biscuits or cornbread.
This healthy, low-fat soup can be prepped in just 15 minutes then cooked in the slow cooker until dinner.
Flavored with pumpkin and coconut milk, this super fast soup is ready in 15 minutes. Canned pumpkin and cannellini beans are the timesaving secrets.
In this slow cooker recipe, dried beans simmer with sausage and Italian seasoning all day while you're away. When you come home, stir in the spinach and dinner is served.
This easy soup is ready to serve in 30 minutes. It's thickened with mashed navy beans.
Using basic canned goods and a few other staples, you can make this comforting soup in just minutes. The trick to achieving a full-bodied homemade flavor from canned chicken broth is to freshen it up with a handful of herbs, some garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. For a meatier flavor, add a little crumbled cooked Italian turkey sausage to the soup.

shop our favorite products