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Global Foodies

Global Foodies

Homemade small white bean soup made with ham broth

The benefits of having a ready-to-eat nutrient-rich bowl of soup can make a mouthwatering meal and rejuvenate an appetite after a long day.

Photo by cook for today.

Reaching into the cupboard for a favorite canned soup may be convenient and somewhat satisfactory. And I agree some brands are very well made and flavorful. But with convenience comes the price of flavor enhancers and an overall lower level of food substance.

This bean soup recipe made from scratch does take planning and time, but completely worth the effort for taste and nutrition value!

Step 1: Creating the ham broth:

Ingredients and measurements:

  • Four quarts of cold water.
  • 1/2 pound fresh ready to eat thick-cut ham steak bone-in. (Thickest slices have the best flavor.)
Photo by cook for today.

Cooking instructions:

  1. Pour water into a large cooking pot and turn the stovetop to high heat.
  2. Cut ham steak into large chunks, including the bone for the marrow.
  3. Add the ham to the pot of water and bring it to a rapid boil for three minutes on the stovetop.
  4. Carefully transfer the liquid to the heated crockpot. (Always preheat a crockpot with a small amount of liquid to prevent overheating.)
  5. Simmer the broth in the crockpot for at least eight hours.
  6. Drain broth through a colander into a clean cold pot. (If desired, keep the best pieces of pork for soup.) Discard the bones and unwanted pork.
  7. Place in refrigerator to cool overnight.
  8. Keep the cooling process safe and fast by storing broth in a dish not fuller than four inches.
  9. Cover with a lid at an angle to allow the hot air to escape.
  10. Once cooled, cover completely.

Step 2: Cooking the beans.

Ingredients and measurements:

  • One pound of small white navy beans.
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrots.
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery.
  • One teaspoon of minced onion.
  • One strip of chopped bacon.

Cooking instructions:

  1. Rinse beans in a colander under running cold water. Pick out and throw away the very discolored and abnormal-sized beans.
  2. Place beans and bacon in a large cooking pot, cover with cold water, approximately one inch above the bean level.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off.
  4. Let beans sit for two hours. The longer they soak, the less cooking time to soften.
  5. Cook on low for approximately four hours until beans are soft to the bite. (Simmer with lid off to evaporate excess water faster.)
  6. Put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Step 3: Making the soup.

Cooking instructions:

  1. Preheat crockpot. (To avoid an overheating-pour small amount of water into the crockpot during the preheating process)
  2. Skim off and discard any fat collected on top of cold ham broth.
  3. Pour into a large pot to accommodate soup.
  4. Add carrots, celery, and onion.
  5. Season with one tablespoon of salt and one heaping teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.
  6. Bring soup to a rapid boil for five minutes.
  7. Add cooked beans and mix thoroughly.
  8. Carefully pour into preheated crockpot. (To avoid an overheating-pour a small amount of water into the crockpot during the preheating process.)
  9. Simmer for five to six hours.
  10. Perform taste tests. Adjust seasoning as desired.
  11. Mix very well to even out the beans and vegetables when serving.


16 one-cup servings of white bean soup.

What to do with leftovers:

  • Freeze leftover soup in individual containers keeping fresh for up to three months.

Diabetic nutrition facts:

Beans are a low-fat carbohydrate and a good source of fiber and protein.

One cup of hearty bean soup is approximately 30 grams of carbohydrate.

Thank you for reading. :-)

Disclaimer: My food and nutrition articles are for informational purposes only. Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and orders.



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Cook for Today

Cook for Today

Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with a culinary arts degree. Food and nutrition freelance writer "back to the basics!”