Hearty White Bean and Ham Soup, perfect for cold winter days! White beans, ham shanks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Tabasco, and herbs make this delicious ham and bean soup a cool weather classic.
Ham and Bean Soup for Cold Days
When the weather turns cold, and all you want to do is stay cozy and warm, the best thing to do is to make a big pot of hearty soup. On days like these, nothing is more comforting than this ham and white bean soup. (Well, maybe some fuzzy woolen slippers, but you can’t eat those!)
The Best Ham and Bean Soup – A Family Classic
This ham and bean soup is one of my favorite recipes on the website, and one that my father has been making for the family for decades. He makes a big batch (doubles this one) and because it just gets better as the days go by, we’ll enjoy this white bean and ham soup for dinner one night and then for lunch for several days afterward. It really is the best ham and bean soup.
Why is it that some stews and soups improve the next day? I think it’s because the flavors from the beans, ham, and vegetables have time to blend. The starch from the beans settles more into the broth making the soup thicker and more stew-like too.
Ham shanks versus ham hocks
This recipe uses smoked ham shanks or ham hocks to create the rich broth for the soup. Ham shanks tend to have more meat on them (the photos of the soup show meat from a ham shank) than hocks.
Think of the hock as the pig’s “ankle”, right above the feet. The shanks are below the shoulder (front) or the ham (rear leg).
I recommend using shanks for this recipe if you have a choice. If you use ham hocks and you would like a meaty soup, you may want to add some chopped ham steak to the soup.
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