Just a few simple ingredients in this Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup, but it is truly full of flavor. A wonderful, silky broth made from ham hocks coats your tongue and dry beans are cooked all day until they are tender and have soaked up all of the salty goodness!
This recipe is very inexpensive to make, but will fill you and your family up and have them coming up for seconds (it's so savory!). I love the way the ham hocks cook done and go from tough, to almost silky in texture. And along the way they create a broth that has an awesome "mouthfeel," because the gelatin coats your tongue.
Smoked hams and ham hocks generally have a high salt content, so be mindful of this when adding salt to taste. You with most likely not need any.
Beans are a staple to save money, they add protein and substance to a meal, while taking on the flavors around them. Dry beans-- even more so. They are dirt cheap, but even better than canned. If you have never cooked beans from dry, you are in for a real treat!
I used dry pinto beans, but feel free to use 15 Bean Soup Mix for Hurst or any beans you like!
A word on lectins and making dry beans in the slow cooker
Beans are a a food that are high in lectins when no cooked. Foods high in lectins can cause lectin poisoning in some. Learn more about lectins here.
In order to remove active lectins, dry beans have to be cooked at high heat (boiling). A slow cooker on low, generally does not get high enough to do that, which is why I suggest keeping this soup on high.
This recipe is a no soak bean soup recipe, meaning you don't have to soak them overnight before adding them to the crock pot. You can add the pinto beans in dry and they will cook just fine using the high setting and some time.
more Crock pot recipes
Why you'll love this recipe:
- very inexpensive to make
- easy to adjust portions up or down to suit your family's needs
- only a few ingredients
- full of flavor and protein
- low sodium chicken stock
- ham hocks
- dry pinto beans
Instructions for ham and bean soup in the crock pot
Wash ham hocks thoroughly to remove some of the excess salt. Place into the crock pot.
Add diced onions, carrots, and celery, along with minced garlic, bay leaf and dry pinto beans.
Cover with water and broth and then close the crock pot lid.
Set to high and cook for 8 hours.
Once cook time is up, carefully remove ham hocks and cut up the meat. Some people eat all of the meat, skin, etc. from a ham hock (it can become very tender when cooked long enough). Place chopped ham back into the crockpot and stir.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Enjoy with a slice of sour cream cornbread.
Variations and Substitutions
- Use a ham bone from a spiral ham or bought specifically from the store. This will have more meat on it and be a little less salty too! Ham and Bean soup is a perfect way to use the ham bone and leftover scraps from your family dinner!
- Use canned beans. If you have canned beans on hand, feel free to use them! You can sub in northern beans for the pintos, as well.
- Make it vegan, similar to this simple carrot and celery soup.
Make it on the stove top
This recipe could easily be adjusted to not use the ham hock and justed adding in ham meat, and it would take significantly less time (although you would lose the salty rich taste created from simmering the bone).
Simply prep vegetables and saute as usual. Add in diced ham, canned beans (dry won't work here) and chicken stock (instead of using part water, use all stock). Simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat, and voila!, quick ham and bean soup.
You can also make ham and beans in the Instant Pot, similar to this recipe.
Storage any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Because of the gelatin from the ham hock, the broth will congeal when refrigerated. It will go back to its original state once warmed.
Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup (with Dry Beans)
- 2 stalks celery diced
- ½ cup carrot diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 ham hocks
- 1 ½ cups dry pinto beans
- Wash ham hocks thoroughly to remove some of the excess salt. Place into the crock pot.
- Add diced onions, carrots, and celery, along with minced garlic, bay leaf and dry pinto beans.
- Cover with water and broth and then close the crock pot lid.
- Set to high and cook for 8 hours.
- Once cook time is up, carefully remove ham hocks and cut up the meat. Some people eat all of the meat, skin, etc. from a ham hock (it can become very tender when cooked long enough). Place chopped ham back into the crockpot and stir.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.