Creamy Ham and Bean Soup (Perfect for Leftover Ham!)

What’s better on a cold winter day than creamy ham and bean soup? This super quick soup recipe can be whipped up in under an hour. Use up your leftover ham from Christmas dinner, or pretty much any ham you have on hand!

Ingredients in Ham & Bean Soup

Ham – I used a ham steak since that’s what I had in the freezer, but this is also a GREAT soup for using up leftover ham from Christmas or Thanksgiving. Just dice up the ham into small pieces (1/4″ to 1/2″ cubes work great!)

Great northern beans – 1 can of any white beans will do. I used great northern. Just make sure to rinse and drain them!

Olive oil – 1 tbsp in the bottom of our pot will start the soup off before adding in the onion.

Yellow onion – use 1 small yellow onion for this soup. If you only have a large one, just use half.

Garlic – can’t have a soup without garlic. I highly recommend sticking to fresh garlic here, not powder!

Thyme & oregano – these spices will add depth of flavor to the soup. Yum!

Celery – just a little bit of celery (2 stalks) is all you’ll need. Chop it finely, unless you like large chunks of celery.

Carrots – I love carrots so I used 2 whole carrots in this recipe. If you want the ham and beans to shine more, can you use less carrots.

Flour – This will coat the veggies and start creating the creaminess you want in ham and bean soup!

Chicken broth – 4 cups will be needed.

Salt and white pepper – use both to taste.

Fresh Parsley and bay leaf – both add extra flavor! You can omit if you don’t have any, but I highly recommend.

Sour cream – we’ll finish off the soup with sour cream to get the perfect creaminess! You can also use cream cheese instead if that’s what you have.

best creamy ham and bean soup

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Serving and Storage

When you serve ham and bean soup, there are a variety of sides you can serve it with. To go extra simple, toast up some sourdough bread. Or check out all these ham and bean soup side ideas.

This ham and bean soup is so delicious, I doubt you’ll have any leftover. But just in case you do…

Simply put the leftovers in a container and keep them in the fridge. I don’t recommend storing this soup in the freezer; the sour cream and flour won’t defrost and reheat well.

How to Make Creamy Ham and Bean Soup

Like I mentioned, creamy ham and bean soup is very quick to make. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Chop Veggies & Ham

Before beginning, chop up your carrots, onion, celery, and ham. You want to do this first so you can add everything in at just the right time!

Step 2: Heat Olive Oil and Cook Onion

Put your 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and let it heat up. When you can flick it with water and it sizzles, you know the oil is hot!

Simply add in your chopped onion and let it cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes.

Step 3: Add More Aromatics

Next, it is time to add more aromatics to the pot. These are the ingredients that will “bloom” wonderfully and become fragrant when coming in contact with heat and oil.

So go ahead and add your minced garlic, thyme, and oregano here.

Step 4: Add Veggies and Flour

Next up, grab your carrots and celery! Let them saute for a minute or two, then add the flour.

Stir the flour in well and let it coat the veggies.

Step 5: Add Everything Else and Bring to Boil

Now it is finally time to add the main ingredients!

Pour in the chicken broth, and add the ham, beans, parsley, and bay leaf.

Bring everything to a boil (this may take a few minutes!) Then, reduce the heat so that the soup can simmer.

Simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes

Step 6: Remove Herbs & Add Dairy

Once the soup is done simmering, remove the bay leaf and parsley.

Take the pot off the heat, and stir in the sour cream or cream cheese.

Season with more salt and white pepper if desired – then serve and enjoy!

More Soup Recipes to Try:

creamy ham and bean soup 10

Creamy Ham and Bean Soup

The epitome of comfort food: reamy ham and bean soup, packed with flavor! This soup is perfect for using up leftover Christmas ham, or a ham steak you have in the freezer. It comes together in less than an hour!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 300 kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ham skeak, cut into 1/4-1/2u0022 cubes (or about 1 cup chopped or shredded leftover ham)
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  • Before starting, chop all vegetables and dice ham so they’re ready to go.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 4-5 quart pot or dutch oven. Once oil is hot, add onion and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, thyme, and oregano; cook for another minute,
  • Add chopped celery and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. Coat the veggies with the flour and stir well. Cook another minute.
  • Add chicken broth, beans, ham, bay leaf, and parsley. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, or to a simmer.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Remove bay leaf and parsley.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in sour cream or cream cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • You can use literally any ham for this recipe! Ham steak is great when you need a quick meal and you haven’t made a whole ham lately. However, if you have leftover ham from Christmas dinner, that works great too!
  • This soup is a little lighter on beans. If you like more beans in your ham and bean soup, feel free to add another can. This can help thicken the soup a bit more too (especially if you smash some of the beans against the side of the pot!)
  • Either sour cream or cream cheese will work for this recipe. I only used 1/4 cup, but you can add more to your liking if you want a creamier soup! You can also omit it all together if you want a dairy-free soup.


Calories: 300kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Creamy ham and bean soup is the perfect day-after-Christmas recipe. You can use up your leftover ham without much fuss at all! I hope you and your family love this soup recipe as much as I loved creating it!

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