Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup

Today’s recipe is a variation on this recipe I posted back in November. We had the end of a ham in the freezer and I wanted to make soup, but it’s summer and I didn’t want to heat up the house. So I decided to try it in the crock pot! I consulted google and decided that yes, making stock in a crock pot would work and yes, you can cook beans in a crock pot too, so I gave it a whirl.

It turned out great! And while this recipe still calls for a lot of chopping, it was relatively easy, too! It worked great for me as an overnight recipe, because my stock was cooking while my beans soaked. It could be done in one day if you cook it on high and do a quick-soak for the beans. This recipe does take a while, but most of it is down time–your work comes at the beginning and then again in the middle.

Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup
The best thing about this soup is that it is top 8 free! It’s corn free too!

Ingredients (for the stock)

  • 1 ham bone or the end of a ham
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • water to cover, at least 6 cups, replenish as necessary

Ingredients (for the soup)

  • 2 cups (1 lb) dried black beans
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
  • Chopped red, yellow and green onions (optional)
  • Tortilla chips (optional, omit for corn allergy)

Place all stock ingredients in your crock pot and cover with cold water. Set crock pot to low and allow to simmer overnight, or do it on high for several hours.

I chose the overnight method, and the house smelled lovely when we woke up the next morning!

Also make sure you soak your beans! After sorting, cover them by several inches with cold water and allow them to sit overnight.

Taste your soup before you’re ready to move on. If any of the flavors seem weak, you can increase the heat and leave them in for a while longer.

Strain the stock. I did this by dipping a strainer into the pot and pulling out everything solid.

Remove the meat from the bone and shred into bite-sized pieces (or simply shred, if there is no bone.) Remove skin and fat as well. Return the meat to the crock pot.

About six hours before you’d like to eat (or three if you’d rather cook it on high), drain your beans and discard the soaking water.

Then add the beans to the crock pot with the stock and ham. Cook for six hours on low or three hours on high (these times are highly flexible.)

Cut off the root and and green stem of the leek (it should be about 5 inches long.)

Wash it, then cut on diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Prep your other onions now, too.

About 15 minutes before serving, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, sautee leek, onion, and garlic for about five minutes, until they’re slightly browned.

Add the leek/onions to the crock pot along with the salt and brown sugar.

Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve soup topped with chopped onions and tortilla chips, if desired.

(Sorry, forgot to put the onion garnish on when I took the pictures.)

I’m really not a big fan of beans, but this soup never ceases to amaze me! In fact, typing it up makes me want to go sneak a few spoonfuls of leftovers from the fridge! I’m glad it worked out in the crock pot and will definitely be making it this way again!

What’s your favorite soup?

Linking up at Allergy Free WednesdaysGluten Free Fridays, and Corn-free Everyday


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