This Ham and White Bean Chowder is the perfect recipe to use up your leftover Easter ham! The salty ham enhances the subtle flavor of the white beans, and the cream at the end rounds everything out and gives a silky smooth finish to the broth. Even better – this recipe only takes thirty minutes to pull together. Just what you need after cooking all day for Easter!
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Ham and White Bean Chowder Ingredients
This recipe calls for simple ingredients you probably already have most of in your kitchen: ham (leftover is perfect!), onion, celery, carrot, butter, 2 cans of cannellini beans or any type of white bean, dried thyme, salt and pepper, and cream (or half & half).
Also – if you are using leftover ham and have a ham bone, throw that in too! It will add some nice additional flavor to the soup broth.
Canned Bean Hack
Here is a very tiny bean hack for you. Does it annoy you how the bottom layer of beans in a can sometimes get stuck to the bottom? This is especially irksome when you don’t need to rinse the beans like in this recipe. To prevent this, shake the can of beans before you open it! In this picture, I shook the can on the right for ten seconds before opening. All the beans slid right out!
Quick Cooking Tips for Soup
If you are in a hurry, use these tips to get this soup done as fast as possible:
SAVE TIME ON PEELING:
Save time on peeling prep by using a good vegetable peeler for the carrots. I’ve mentioned this in both my Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew post and Maple Butter Glazed Squash and Apples post. But again, the OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler is my all-time favorite peeler! It saves me time because it’s so sharp and precise. It glides through the food quickly without me feeling like I have to scrape and drag it along.
If you are not in the mood to peel carrots (which I totally understand!) you can also use a couple handfulls of baby carrots and give them a rough chop. Or – just don’t peel them! If you’re just making this soup at home for family, they aren’t going to care it’s not as “pretty.” As long as the carrots are washed, it doesn’t really matter.
SAVE TIME ON GETTING SOUP TO A BOIL:
After cooking the ham and vegetables, you need to add some water and bring the soup to a boil. There are a couple ways you can shave off a few minutes during this stage. You could use the hottest water you can from your sink, and then cover the soup with a lid to trap heat. This will speed up the boiling process a bit. (Remove the lid once the soup is simmering so some of the liquid is allowed to evaporate. Otherwise, the soup will be too watery.)
Or, you can do what I like to do, and use an electric kettle to pre-boil the water! Just add the 2 cups of water to the kettle after you add in the vegetables and ham to the pan. (This is also convenient because the measurements are right on the side of the kettle. This means you don’t need a separate measuring cup!)
In the few minutes it takes to start cooking the veggies, the water will be boiling and ready to add to the pot. Because the water is already boiling, the soup itself will come to a boil almost immediately.
I have this Amazon Basics 1-Liter Electric Kettle and I really like it. It looks sleek and it’s big enough to make a few cups of tea or a pot of french press coffee, but doesn’t take up too much room on the counter.
If you are currently sitting on a huge hunk of leftover ham and you’re already sick of ham sandwiches, I hope this recipe comes in handy for you! If you make the recipe please rate it and leave a comment on how it turned out below!Print
Ham, white beans, and vegetables are sauteed in butter, then simmered in water to form a broth. Cream added at the end provides richness and a silky broth. This is the perfect use for leftover ham, and is ready in 30 minutes or less!
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 lb. cooked ham
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 – 2 tsp. salt (see note 1)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 cups water
- 2 cans cannellini beans or any type of canned white beans
- 1 cup half & half, light cream, or whipping cream (see note 2)
1. Chop onion, carrots, celery and ham into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. (If your ham is already sliced, just cut it up into squares of your preferred size; since the ham is already cooked the exact size isn’t important.)
2. Heat the butter in a stock pot on medium high heat. Add in the vegetables and ham, plus the salt (see note 1), pepper, and dried thyme.
3. Saute, stirring frequently, until the ham and vegetables start to give off some liquid and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. (If you have an electric kettle: half way through the cooking time, start heating 2 cups of water in the kettle.)
4. Add 2 cups of water to the pot, either already boiling (see step 3 above), or very hot from the tap. Add the 2 cans of beans, undrained, to the pot.
5. Turn the heat up to high until the soup begins to boil. (Can cover the pot if you want to speed up the boiling process; uncover the pot again once the soup is boiling.) Turn the heat down to medium or medium low to maintain a simmer.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Turn the heat off and add about 1 cup of half & half or cream (you can eyeball this amount rather than measure if you want), stir to combine.
- The amount of salt needed will vary based on how salty your ham is. If your ham is very salty, add only 1 tsp. of salt instead of 2. You can always taste the soup at the end and add in more if needed. If your soup turns out too salty, add in a splash more cream.
- Using half & half will yield a lighter soup broth and whipping cream will be rich and super creamy; light cream will be in-between. (I prefer using the light cream!)
Keywords: soup, chowder, white beans, ham, 30 minute, 1 pot meal