White Bean and Ham Soup

White Bean and Ham Soup

Print This Post

White Bean and Ham Soup

Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking’s Mediterranean White Bean Soup

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 2 hours (less if beans are already cooked)


  • 1 cup dried great northern beans ($.30)
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced ($.05) I bought some garlic heads for $.10 a piece a few weeks back :)
  • .6 lb ham, diced ($2.64)
  • 1 can organic no salt added diced tomatoes ($.50) Bought with $1 Q when on sale for $1.50
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning ($.05)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt/pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup rice ($.20)
  • Serve with 1 bunch (lb) asparagus ($1.49) Price matched at WM
  • 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil ($.05)


  • Rinse beans. Soak white beans in water overnight, or in HOT water for at least 2 hours. Drain water and place beans in pot. Add 6-8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and cook on medium for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Once beans are cooked and soft, add can of tomatoes, garlic slices, chicken broth and ham. Cook on medium-high for 10 more minutes.
  • Cook 1 cup of rice in 2.5 cups of water. Bring water boil. Add rice. Return to boil. Cover rice and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Saute asparagus in extra virgin olive oil for 4-5 minutes, until turns brighter green.
  • Serve soup with a side of rice and sauteed asparagus.

Cost $5.28

P.S. This soup would have been a little tastier if I had used some of my FREE chicken broth from the freezer. Now I know for next time. And might I suggest 2 cups or a can of chicken broth be added to this recipe!

FREE DOWNLOAD! Eight 20-Minute Meal Ideas That Will Help You Survive Chaotic & Busy Weeknights!
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries


  1. Brandislee says

    Yea, use a bone in ham. I make a really similar recipe, but minus the tomatoes- it’s just the beans, some water, and the ham bone (kind of like the chicken frame you use to make stock- I usually make sure there’s some meat left on it, though.) and some onion. I season it with sage, thyme, and a bay leaf or two or whatever I have that’s similar. And that’s it- no broth!

  2. HotHeaded says

    Okay so what is the secret to soaking beans. I have attempted it 5 or 6 times and every time my beans never get soft. They are always hard in the middle.
    Someone help me because I have 4 bags of dried beans in my cupboard and I need to use them up!

  3. $5 Dinner Mom says

    Thanks Michele and Brandislee! I did think of the bone in ham/ham hoc after I wrote up the post, but never went back to edit it! That would be the best way to add a little more flavor :)

    HotHeaded! Dried beans are definitely high maintenance, BUT they are SOOO much healthier for you than canned beans. With a little planning and and thinking ahead, they are way lower maintenance. Easiest way: Soak them overnight. The night before you intended to use them, put them in a bowl with at least 2 inches of water over them. In the morning, they will have grown, but are not ready to be eaten. They then need to be cooked for an hour – 1.5 hours. Drain water they were soaking in, then put in pot. Add water to cover them plus at least 2 inches over. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook at a slow boil for 1-1.5 hours. They will be soft and ready for a recipe after that.


  4. mcstitch says

    For speed… I didn’t remember that we were going to do chili that night until 10am, so I threw the beans in the crockpot with lots of extra water and put it on high. Then by 3pm, it was ready to drain and add the rest of the chili ingredients, then let it cook on high/medium until dinnertime.
    But with the ham in bone and Great Northern beans, I’d definitely soak overnight, then put all ingredients in the crockpot on low or medium for all day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *