Eating Well: Ham and Bean Soup

In my ongoing effort to stop eating out – both for health and financial reasons – I spent a little time making this soup up yesterday. Everything was prepped the night before and then tossed into the slow cooker around 4 am, and it turned out fine. Better than fine, really, as my wife loved it and my picky five-year-old (who declared that it “smelled funny” after I told him we weren’t going to go out for tacos) declared that he liked it “a little bit”. So, wins all around.

Ham and Bean Soup


12 oz Ham, 492 calories
1 lb dried beans (I used red beans), 1529 calories
1 large onion. 60 calories
1 large carrot, 30 calories
3 celery ribs, 30 calories
4 cups chicken broth, 44 calories
4 cups water


  • At least 12 hours before you plan to make the soup, soak you beans by placing them in a large bowl and covering them with about an inch of water.
  • Chop onion, celery, and carrot. I did this the night before, after starting the beans soaking.
  • Place ham in slow cooker.
  • Add beans and vegetables to the slow cooker, followed by the broth and water.
  • Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
  • Remove ham from soup and shred as necessary.


  • This recipe made 121 ounces of soup, which works out to 14 calories per ounce. A good sized serving is two cups, which weighed out to about 20 ounces. So, you’re looking at about 280 calories per bowl.
  • I used leftover ham from Christmas, which was a hunk of meat attached to bone. It added more flavor, but be sure to discard the bone if you do something similar.
  • You could use canned beans for this, if you wanted.  In that case, you’ll need three cans of beans and you’ll want to drain them.  Check the calories, if you do.
  • After 8 or 9 hours, the vegetables pretty much dissolve into the broth.  Kind of an interesting effect.
  • Stupidly simple? Yes, it was. But food doesn’t have to be complicated to taste good.

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