Sarasota's Classic Ham & Bean Soup

"Perfect comfort food. This is the best way to use up that Holiday Ham bone. When I freeze my ham bone, I like to cut off most of the meat and put it right in the bag with the bone. That way, I make sure I have a little extra ham for the soup, not just from the bone. How much ham you add is up to you - I add about 1-1 1/2 cups. A hearty delicious soup."

Original recipe yields 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (719.1 g)
  • Calories 475.9
  • Total Fat - 20.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 6.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 112 mg
  • Sodium - 2987.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 26.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 5.6 g
  • Sugars - 7 g
  • Protein - 47.6 g
  • Calcium - 105 mg
  • Iron - 5.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 19.5 mg
  • Thiamin - 1.1 mg


Step 1

I soak mine over night, but soaking all day works just as well. Just fill up a big bowl with water and add the beans. Make sure that the water covers the beans by an inch, and cover - I use a kitchen towel. Drain and rinse well after they have soaked and remove any bad beans.


Step 2

Add the butter to a large stock pot and bring to medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook on medium heat, so they don't brown, for 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables and set to the side. You will add them back in after the ham bone has cooked.


Step 3

Add the ham bone to the pot along with the chicken and vegetable broth, water, and bay leaf. Make sure the ham bone is mostly covered in liquid - it is ok if it isn't totally submerged. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove the bone from the pot; then, cut off any ham, and especially any fat or grizzle remaining. Using a spider, skim the broth as well to make sure there are no pieces of fat or grizzle. Leave the bay leaves in. A spider is just a large hand held wire mesh strainer. This isn't always necessary, it depends how well you cleaned your ham bone prior to making the soup.


Step 4

Then add the bone back in along with the beans, all the dry seasoning, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, cover and cook 30 minutes.

Step 5

Ham and Vegetables ... Add the vegetables, diced ham, and potatoes to the soup. This may sound funny ... but I mash the baby whole potatoes right in my hand as I add them. You can use fork too, but I just like to "squish" them. It is easy, quick and works just as well. The potatoes as they cook will give the soup a nice creamy texture. You can remove the ham bone at this point. It did it's job. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables and beans are tender. You can also turn it on low and let it simmer a good hour or so. For me - the longer bean soup simmers, it's even better. During this cooking time, check to see if it needs any additional seasoning. I like lots of black pepper in my soup.


Step 6

Remove the bay leaves, add the fresh parsley; and, serve. Make sure to serve with some crusty bread and a small salad, for a wonderful dinner. This makes 8 nice size bowls. ENJOY!

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.