Save on Pinterest

Ham and Bean Chowder

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
  • Makes
    12-14 servings (3-1/4 quarts)


  • 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 whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Skim fat from soup. Stir in milk; cool on low until heated through. Just before serving, stir in cheese.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 255 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 332mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 15g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Fey
    Aug 5, 2020

    I abhor beans of any kind. Made this for my husband. Ate 2 huge bowls, with cornbread of course. Now I can't wait for winter so I can make this all the time, not that anything is wrong with making it in the summer.

  • catlady20
    Jan 10, 2018

    Very good. My store was out of dried white beans so I used 2 cans instead but I thought it needed more. I added carrots also cuz I had in fridge. Definitely will make again.

  • _nlfPA
    Nov 11, 2017

    This is a terrific soup to serve on a cold winter day.My family loves the combination of ham and beans.

  • tommypoo
    Jan 30, 2017

    No comment left

  • ChandiP
    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.

  • flstorm
    Jul 14, 2013

    No comment left

  • Dutchess83
    Mar 18, 2013

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

  • wagondorfer
    Sep 8, 2012

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

  • Ruminant
    Aug 14, 2012

    By far the best bean soup recipe ever!

  • FL.wildflowers
    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.PEACE