A Smoked Ham and Bone Bean Soup Recipe That's Rich and Satisfying

Well, your smoked ham is gone. All gone. And all that remains is a bone, probably picked clean, maybe even gnawed on a little.

Dang! It was good while it lasted. All things must come to an end.

Smoked Ham Bone Bean Soup, Rich With Carrots and Onions, In a White Bowl

But don't despair, because you can still get a little something out the remains of that great smoked ham you made. And I'm talkin' about making a nice, comforting pot of smoked ham bone bean soup. You'll get your money's worth outta that ham yet!

Smoked Ham Bone Bean Soup - Down Home Comfort Food

The traditional ham and beans from my past were always made with white navy beans, and it was made a day or two after the ham was all finished up.

Hey, it was good, but I'm the kind of guy that doesn't stick hard and fast to tradition. I like to mix things up a little. Be a rebel. With a cause.

When I'm cooking, I like to see what I can do with the things I have on hand. Today it was carrots and onions, so this bean soup recipe is a carrot and onion ham bone bean soup.

And the beans at hand in my cupboard were of the dried pinto variety. All bases covered.

This recipe is one you can play around with and make to your own liking. Choose your beans, your veggies. Use chicken stock instead of water.

The only thing that can't be changed, the constant, is the smoked ham bone. That's the life of this party.

Pot Full of Ham and Bean Soup On the Stove. The Vegetables Have Begun to Soften Up

Why Ham Bones Make Beans Taste So Goooood!

This probably doesn't need to be said around here, but ham bones aren't just bone. There are a few remaining flecks of flesh trying to hang on, maybe, depending on how determined you were.

But there's still good stuff left. There's the gristle. The fat. The marrow. A little smokaroma. Even the bones themselves.

All those reminders of a ham well eaten release tons of flavor when they're cooked and cooked. And cooked. And the beans are just soakin' it up!

A pot of ham bone soup with beans on the stove top of my travel trailer, The SmokeMobile. Sliced carrots were just added to the mix. Pin this image

But being meat smokers, we all know that a lot of the great flavor of smoked things comes from the non-meat components. The molten connective tissues and fat and such.

So like I said, this probably didn't need to be mentioned here since you already know the reason.

Making a Batch of Smoked Hambone and Bean Soup

The ham bone gives this soup its base flavor. Beans add richness to the flavor and thicken up the broth. The carrots and onions do their part, and other vegetables, if you're so inclined, would fit right in with this pot of soup.


  • Ham bone from a smoked butt or shank portion precooked ham
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 large bay leaf

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This Pot of Ham and Bean Soup Still Needs a Few Hours of Slow Simmer to Release The Flavor From the Bone

  1. Prepare the dried bean by rinsing three times, then bringing to a boil in one quart of water. Shut off heat and cover pan. After one hour, drain water.

  2. Place ham bones in pot with beans. Add enough water to cover the ham bones without overfilling the pot. Bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, pan covered, for two hours.

  3. Add remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer for an additional two to three hours, adding water to keep ingredients covered. Soup is done when the beans are tender and the meat and cartilage separates easily from the ham bones.

  4.  Remove from heat. Remove the bones, picking off all remaining meat and adding to soup. Allow to cool slightly, serve and enjoy.

* * * * *

After slurping a couple of bowls down, I realized that this soup would be really good served on top of rice. Or with fresh-made cornbread.
Next time, next time!

This Was My Second Bowl of Soup. The Amount of Goodness Locked In Those Ham Bones is Incredible!

I have to say, this soup really hit the spot!  The broth was rich and flavorful and the taste of the ham was just everywhere! It was really satisfying!

This ham soup looks delicious! Pinto beans, chopped onions, sliced carrots and a variety of spices add color and flavor. Pin to save

The ham bones definitely gave it their all... there's barely a scrap of anything left on those suckers!  They look spent.

Ham Bones From a Smoked Butt Portion PreCooked Ham. Cooked In Bean Soup For Five Hours, They're Clean as a Whistle Now