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Ham and Bean Chowder Recipe

Ham and Bean Chowder Recipe

Meet the Cook: We also call this 2-Day Bean Chowder, since it can be started in the afternoon, chilled overnight and finished off the next day - if you can wait to taste it! -Joe Ann Heavrin, Memphis, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + standing Cook: 2 hours + chilling YIELD:12-14 servings


  • 1 pound dried great northern beans
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


  • 1. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2-in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  • 2. Drain beans and discard liquid. In the same kettle, saute onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add beans, ham bone, water, broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, cloves and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  • 3. Remove ham bone, bay leaves and cloves. When cool enough to handle, remove ham from bone; cut into small pieces and return to soup. Chill for 8 hours or overnight.
  • 4. Skim fat from soup. Stir in milk; cool on low until heated through. Just before serving, stir in cheese. Yield: 12-14 servings (3-1/4 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 255 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 332mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 15g protein.

Reviews for Ham and Bean Chowder

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ChandiP User ID: 3885565 17012
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2013

"This was so simple and tasty. My family really loved the thick creaminess of the soup. I can't think of anything I would change."

Dutchess83 User ID: 3288161 41093
Reviewed Mar. 18, 2013

"I have been making this for years and everyone always asks for the recipe"

wagondorfer User ID: 1632905 43931
Reviewed Sep. 8, 2012

"Nice and creamy and very satisfying. Looking forward to making it again this winter."

Ruminant User ID: 3732280 11792
Reviewed Aug. 14, 2012

"By far the best bean soup recipe ever!"

FL.wildflowers User ID: 2358792 37583
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2011

"This was my first try at any homemade bean soup. So easy to make, and such great flavor.

I did 'tweek' this recipe, as I had 2 ham bones and used more onion and garlic than called for. I also threw in 2 beef bouillon cubes, and of course, some ex-tra cheese. I also used some bacon fat instead of butter. Yes.. all my 'tweeks' added to the over all fat content, but my husband and I eat only small portions, along with a sandwich and salad... a wonderfully tasty complete meal.
I highly recommend this recipe.

Mrs_T User ID: 941931 17437
Reviewed May. 16, 2011

"This is delicious -- the best possible use for a leftover ham bone! I always used to make split pea soup to use up a ham bone. No more -- this is so much better. I do cut down on the cheese a bit -- think I use about half the amount -- and it is still yummy."

MY REVIEW User ID: 2813946 39672
Reviewed Oct. 9, 2010

"This is a great recipe for tasty soup! My only complaint is that the method for cooking the beans simply does not work in high altitude. All you get are chewy nubbins with tough skins. If you are above 6000 ft, I recommend pressure cooking your beans first (or use canned) so you don't waste a lot of expensive ingredients."

Lori35_IA User ID: 718 15387
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2010

"This is the BEST!!"

jb1976 User ID: 1737567 41092
Reviewed May. 8, 2010

"We love this recipe, I've made it with & without the tomatoes & it's excellent either way! I also have used canned northern beans to save time & it tasted just as good."

Lori35_IA User ID: 718 37582
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2010

"This is the best!! Since it makes alot I divide & freeze half before adding the milk & cheese. My son who doesn't like bean soup loves this!"

LKAM User ID: 1308936 70662
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2008

"This is our favorite recipe for hambone/bean soup, though we've tried lots of good ones."

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