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Neighborhood Bean Soup

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 (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove ham bone; cool slightly. Skim fat from soup. Remove meat from bone and cut into chunks; return to soup. Discard bone.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 203 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 1001mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 9g fiber), 13g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Ann
    Apr 21, 2020

    I made this recipe for dinner. It was really good. My husband don't eat leftovers , but he at this the next day for lunch.

  • granolabrooklyn
    Apr 12, 2020

    This soup is delicious! I have made two batches this week (enjoying new recipes during #stayhomestaysafe). It is pure comfort in a bowl. The seasonings are delicious. The whole family enjoyed it. We paired it with some salad and had nice dinners. Definitely going into my repertoire.

  • CindyK2013
    Mar 15, 2020

    Stuck inside for a couple weeks without ham or bacon, still I have beans, veggies and seasoning to make this tasty recipe.

  • juliew73
    Mar 4, 2020

    Excellent as is.

  • David
    Feb 18, 2020

    This recipe is an awesome fool proof recipe. We love to use a hambone and add cubes of ham . We also use smoked ham shanks on occasion instead of hocks , just remember to try to fish out small bones. We also grate the carrots. We also often use Italian seasoning plus poultry, and dash type seasoning instead of the recipe. One secret ingredient is to use Jamieson ham soup base , knocks it outta the park. You can thicken it easily , if you like a thicker broth or something to ladle over corn bread. Even better the next day .

  • Duane
    Oct 28, 2019

    Great recipe. Full of flavor and very satisfying on a cold night. For a change up, I added some chopped greens to it, which makes it a complete meal. I used collards, but spinach or any other dark greens would work.

  • Patti
    Oct 11, 2019

    Very tasty recipe! Used one large jar Randall northern beans, 1-1/2c cubed cooked ham, one box low sodium chicken broth, one can diced tomatoes, filled water from empty tomato can, added 4 med potatoes, cubed, med onion, three stalks celery sliced, four peeled and sliced carrots, and omitted: savory, marjoram and thyme. Cookes all In crock pot all day!

  • ennypaplm
    Jan 18, 2019

    Just made my first batch and it is very good. It's definitely not my mother's bean soup. I didn't even have to add ketchup.

  • jeffy915
    Jan 17, 2019

    Overall a good recipe, but if you aren't a fan of thyme, it isn't so great. I would recommend dialing that and the savory back. I added a potato to soak up the thyme flavor and threw it out when the soup was done. Much better flavor then.

  • phyllis2980
    Jan 30, 2018

    This is an awesome recipe. I follow the directions; however, I do use leftover ham that is cut into bite size chunks. No need to precook veggies, everything cooks up lovely in my dutch oven in an hour.I love to put some rice in my bowl ( or cornbread) first. I have made this 3 times and I will make it many more times. My husband loves it as well. Next time, I will try it with chicken and wild rice.