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Hearty Bean Soup

This soup is convenient to simmer all day in a slow cooker, and your family will love it. —Alice Schnoor, Arion, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 3 cups chopped parsnips
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups dried great northern beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, place parsnips, carrots and onion. Top with beans. Add water, ham, garlic, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours or until beans are tender.
  • Remove meat and bones from slow cooker. When cool enough to handle, cut meat into bite-sized pieces and return to slow cooker; heat through.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 161 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 686mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 9g fiber), 10g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat.

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  • Madeline
    Jan 6, 2018

    No comment left

  • krysfielder
    Mar 12, 2017

    Great recipe! I didn't use parsnips and didn't measure, just eyeballed everything. I have been looking for a good ham and bean soup recipe and this is it!

  • lshaw
    Jun 10, 2015

    Hearty indeed! I always make this a late fall or winter offering. I typically only put in 2 Cups of parsnips (3 large), and instead of 5 cups of water, I use 4 cups of water and 1-10 ounce can of chicken broth for added flavor. For any soup that uses ham hocks, I always sneak in a couple more--my son is crazy about them! I think using a ham bone, as suggested by other reviewers, might be a very good option, if the hocks are not available. You might also wait until right before serving to put in the salt--the hocks will automatically add salt to the soup.

  • contrarywife
    Dec 3, 2014

    FANTASTIC!!! We didn't have parsnips so I added chopped celery. Also, I added a packet of vegetable soup mix and a bay leaf inspired from Navy Bean Vegetable Soup recipe from this site, added a meaty ham bone instead of the ham hock. I've always soaked my beans overnight before making bean soup so I was skeptical about cooking them in the slow cooker from a dried bean. Not to worry, this was one of the best pots of bean soup I've ever made. So much flavor, and pretty to look at as well! So nice to come home from work to this simmering pot of deliciousness. Thank you, Alice and Taste of Home!

  • jkx4x4
    Sep 18, 2012

    I have made this recipe severals times and it has become a family favorite! It is so easy and simple. I have substituted celery & more carrots for the parsnips. I use a ham bone instead of the hocks and it turns out great. This is one recipre that I will use over and over. It's one I can put together, set the timer on the crock pot & have a hot meal after a day of work or play.

  • kristials
    Feb 15, 2012

    I used diced potatoes instead of parsnips because I didn't have those on hand and I used a ham bone. I added more pepper than the recipe called for, but this soup was a hit. My hubby who I would have never guessed to like bean soup ate this up! He even took some to work the next day for his buddies. Always a good sign!

  • mastersonv
    Jan 29, 2012

    No comment left

  • greenfaerae
    Jan 1, 2012

    Delish! This is the way I remember bean soup to be. Hardy. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it really was fantastic.

  • estancia11880
    Dec 31, 2011

    Very good basic bean soup. I substituted extra carrots, and celery for the parsnips. Will definitely make it again. Possibly going to try other meats-sausage, smoked turkey kielbasa...?

  • babylyric1
    Nov 18, 2011

    I have made this soup several times now. I also used potatoes to replace the parsnips, and my family doesn't care for large bits of onion so I reduced the amount, minced them instead, and added some onion powder. I also just use the bone and left overs from a picnic ham. My family cant get enough. I keep the carrots and potatoes really large so they don't get to soft also.