White Bean and Ham Hock Soup

22 | December 10, 2013

Simple and delicious White Bean Ham Hock Soup

I’ve made it no secret that it’s FLIPPING cold here in Texas and I’m not sure I’m dealing with it well. Five days of dark clouds and freezing blankets of ice with only my sanity and a five year old to keep me company was making me a little twitchy.  Just before I lost myself to the gaping abyss that my couch was turning into, the sun came out and I feel like myself again! Thank goodness, because I was starting to not want to change out of my pj’s and watch The Kardashians. If that ever happens, please send help and check me into an institution becasue I’ve hit rock bottom.

Not only did I need comfort food to get me out of my funk but I needed flavor that wasn’t going to make me feel heavy afterwards. Here’s a simple dinner that warms my heart up and is light on the calories. I use ham hock a lot in soups because it brings so much flavor without a lot of oil or fat. Never cooked with ham hock before? Give it a try and you’ll be amazed. You can find smoked ham hock in the butcher section of any major grocery store.

Nothing says soul lifting like ham hock to a southern girl! White beans slowly simmered in homemade stock, ham hock, and fresh herbs is simply delicious and gratifying on a cold night.

Simple and delicious White Bean Ham Hock Soup

White Bean and Ham Hock Soup

Rating: 51

Yield: 8 servings

White Bean and Ham Hock Soup


  • 1 pound dried Great Northern Beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 7 cups homemade or quality low-sodium chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Rinse and sort beans to remove any debris. Soak beans in a large pot of cold water overnight. You can also do a quick soak instead of the overnight soak. To quick soak beans, Place rinsed and sorted beans in a large pot or dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; once boiling turn off heat and cover. Let sit for 1 hour.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt; saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the water from the soaked beans.
  4. To the onions add stock, soaked beans, ham hock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beans are tender. 5 minutes before the beans are finished, add the oregano and parsley and stir. Remove the ham off of the ham hock, chop, and return to the soup, if desired. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.


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  • Paula - bell'alimento

    I would devour both those bowls right about NOW. Lurve.

  • jack

    Made this last night and it’s a winner! Absolutely a favorite of mine now. Thanks!

  • kelly m

    I can’t believe how tender the beans turned out to be! This was delicious. Thanks!

  • Anne

    Perhaps this doesn’t matter but do you simmer the soup with the lid on or off?

  • Pam

    Cooked this for my family tonight…it was wonderful. It will go into my family files. Thanks!

  • Michael S

    Yum! I used a bag with a 16-bean medley (Peak brand), smoked ham hock from the butcher and I added one chopped carrot.
    Served along side bacon, English cheddar and scallion cream cheese sandwiches on grilled rustic bread.
    Again I say yum!

  • Maria

    I made this last night with a homemade veggie stock, leek instead of onions and sliced Chard instead of Oregano. I also added a pinch of ground clove to the pot. What an amazing bowl of bean soup. Thanks!

  • Shawna

    Mmmm…made this with navy beans and ham shanks (staore didn’t have ham hocks when I went). So good! Made the house smell yummy while it cooked. Definitely a keeper! Thank you.

  • Sandy Patterson

    Good recipe. Only thing I would say to improve it generally is use the quick soak method for the beans and when the beans are boiling add the shanks and stock to the sautéed onion. It gives the shanks an extra hour in the stock to disintegrate and add flavor, and the meat will come off the bone more easily at the end. When the bean soaking time is over, drain, add them to your big pot and start your countdown. I used it because it means you can start all at once and don’t have to wait for the beans. Also, I used more onion, and added about 1.5 cups diced celery with the herbs about 10 min from the end, and some sage as well. Those are merely personal choices, this is a solid recipe on it’s own and a good place to start improvising.

  • Jessica

    Can this be made with regular raw ham hocks? Recipe looks and sounds so good, but our hocks aren’t smoked :/

  • Betty819

    This is very similar to the way my dear MIL made bean soup, but she used tomato juice in hers, and about 15 min. before serving, would add chopped hard boiled eggs to soup. It helps thicken the broth and gives added flavor. Do not reheat with the hard boiled eggs in it, as those whites will end up being rubbery. She also used chopped celery, in hers, along with chopped onion. Saute onion and celery in butter first, then add it to ham broth.

  • robin

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Turned out perfect.

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