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Classic Ham & Bean Soup
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1 pound dry navy beans

1 1/2 pounds smoked ham shank  

6 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 small (1/2 cup) onion, chopped

1 rib (1/2 cup) celery, chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic

1 bay leaf

2 to 3 medium (1 cup) carrots, chopped

1 small (1/2 cup) red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


1/2 (9-ounce) loaf French baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch slices

2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter, melted

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley,   if desired

 *Substitute ham bone. **Substitute 1 tablespoon dried parsley.

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Place beans into 5- to 6-quart heavy saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above beans. Cook over high heat until water comes to a boil. Boil 3 minutes; remove from heat. Cover; let beans soak 1 hour. Rinse; drain.

  2. STEP 2

    Return beans to saucepan. Add ham shank, water, chicken broth, onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook 85-90 minutes or until beans are tender.

  3. STEP 3

    Remove ham shanks with tongs. Cool slightly. Cut meat from bone; discard bone, fat and skin.

  4. STEP 4

    Chop meat; add back to soup. Add carrots, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook until carrots are tender.

  5. STEP 5

    Heat oven to 400°F.

  6. STEP 6

    Brush both sides of baguette slices with melted butter. Place bread slices onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 3-5 minutes or until bottoms begin to turn golden brown. Turn slices over; sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

  7. STEP 7

    Serve toasted bread slices with soup.

Tip #1

Beans can be soaked overnight. Place dry beans in pan; cover with water 2 inches above beans. Let stand 8 hours. Rinse and drain.

Tip #2

To remove excess fat from soup, allow soup to cool in refrigerator. Skim off hardened fat.

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