Neighborhood Bean Soup Recipe
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Neighborhood Bean Soup Recipe

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Even though I'm single, I make multiple servings of everything. Actually, this tendency has helped me to get to know my neighbors. A few of them always volunteer to be my guinea pigs whenever I try out a new recipe or two. —Cheryl Trowbridge, Windsor, Ontario
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + standing Cook: 2-1/4 hours
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + standing Cook: 2-1/4 hours
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 2 cups dried great northern beans
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried savory
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 203 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 1001mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 9g fiber), 13g protein


  1. Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let soak for 1-4 hours or until beans are softened.
  2. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Return beans to pan; add broth, 3 cups water, ham bone, bouillon and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions, carrots and celery in oil until tender; add to soup. Cover and simmer 45-60 minutes longer or until beans are tender.
  4. Remove ham bone; cool slightly. Remove meat from bone and cut into chunks; return to soup. Discard bone. Skim fat from soup. Yield: 10 servings (2-3/4 quarts).
Originally published as Neighborhood Bean Soup in Country Woman January/February 1998, p29

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Reviewed Apr. 11, 2016

"This is the best ham and bean soup I've come across. I look forward to having the ham bone and a little leftover ham from the spiral cut ham I serve on holidays!"

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2016

"This is a great recipe. I add one peeled GRATED apple during last twenty minutes of cooking and one Tbls of white vinegar. Don't be afraid to try this because it makes a good recipe great."

Reviewed Feb. 12, 2016

"This was so salty it was almost uneatabled!"

Reviewed Feb. 8, 2016 Edited Feb. 21, 2016

"I would say I followed the recipe as it says. I did not use a ham bone though. I bought Hickory Smoked Ham Steak (16 oz.) and cut it in cubes. Absolutely loved this soup. The herbs were a perfect amount. This is a keeper and will be making it again! I am a member or Weight Watchers and I just weighed all my ingredients out and with the very specific ham I used my calorie count came out to 94 calories cup. The recipe does not tell you what to use for ham quantity. My ham is right around 1 pound is only 50 calories per 3 ounces. Using the new point system I have 2 points per 8 ounces of soup and 5 per 2 cups. You need to do your own math with your own ingredients though. For those that say too salty, maybe use reduced sodium broth. I only use Swanson chicken broth and it is reduced sodium. It is not too salty. I do everything as the recipe says. I use 3 bouillon cubes, not 2. Can't wait to share this with my friend that is also in Weight Watchers."

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2015

"This is a great bean soup. I used a smoked ham and it really brought out the flavor. I will definitely make this again."

Reviewed Dec. 30, 2014

"This is hands down the best bean soup recipe I have ever made/tasted. I made a few changes. I discarded the bone and the ham attached to it and added fresh leftover ham at the end. I used a potato masher and mashed beans and vegetables slightly then added instant mashed potatoes to thicken it a bit. Served this soup with shredded cheddar and a bit of sour cream on top. Delicious! Also very good with chopped raw onion on the top. I have printed out this recipe for all my friends."

Reviewed Dec. 2, 2014

"nice recipe!!!"

Reviewed Dec. 1, 2014

"Wonderful delicious bean soup. Worth the time to make it. A big hit every time I make it."

Reviewed May. 9, 2014

"Great way to use up leftover ham. Soup was really filling and tasty."

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2014

"This is a really good recipe!! I just did a couple of things different. I did not use chicken broth but water instead because I used a ham bone from Christmas that I froze and my family is on a reduced sodium diet so I tried to reduce the sodium. Also, I did not sauté the onions and carrots , I just put them in the soup and cooked it for 25 minutes and the carrots and onions came out just right, not mushy. Thanks for the recipe. Will definitely be making this again :-)"

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