This delicious, hearty ham and bean soup will fill you up. Recipe includes “how to” instructions for canning soup to store in your pantry!Ham and Bean Soup (and how to CAN it!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Well… I finally canned my first batch of Ham and Bean Soup a few months ago. I am loving having this delicious soup in my pantry, ready to open, re-heat, and eat whenever we wish! My pressure canning experiences are becoming more frequent, and I love the convenience of having jars of homemade soups, sauces, and veggies, etc. sitting in our pantry (along with canned fruits and jam), just waiting to be eaten!

The soup is very hearty… flavored with ham, navy beans, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, etc. Once cooked, it thickens a bit, and is wonderful as a main dish or lunch serving. Even if you don’t can, you can still make a nice sized pot of this soup to feed your family very inexpensively. The soup is very filling, and delicious!

NOTE: If you want to can this soup, you must use a pressure canner. This recipe will yield approximately 6 pints (12 cups) or 3 quarts of soup.

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page 

Prepare The Dried Beans

Here’s the basics of how I made this yummy soup: First thing to do is rinse the beans to remove any sediment, rocks, etc.

White colander with beans being rinsed in water
Cover the beans with 2 quarts of water in a LARGE pot, then bring them to a boil.

Cooking beans in water
After the beans begin boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and let the beans rest for an hour.

Beans for soup cooking in red pan
While beans are “resting”, cut up the ham and veggies for the soup. I even used some of my dehydrated celery in place of “fresh” celery, and it worked perfectly!

Chopped ham and minced garlic for soup, in metal bowlChopped carrots, celery and onion for bean and ham soup

Make The Ham and Bean Soup

After the beans “rest” for an hour, rinse them, and put them into a large stock pot. Cover the beans with water (1 1/2 quarts), add the ham pieces and spices, and let it simmer on medium-low (covered) for 45 minutes.

Add the carrots, celery, and onions and cook the ham and bean soup for 15 minutes longer. If you are NOT going to can the soup, you may wish to cook the soup just a bit longer (uncovered), which will help to thicken it.

Beans, ham, carrots, celery and onion for soup, cooking in pan
Canning Ham and Bean Soup

Prepare canning jars, lids, and screw bands according to recommended canning guidelines. (Make sure jars stay warm until you are ready to fill them). Fill the jars 3/4 full with the ham and veggie pieces (used a slotted spoon and a canning funnel for less mess).

Finish filling the jars with the hot liquid, making sure to leave a 1″ headspace in the jar. Follow canning guidelines to remove air bubbles from the jars, clean the jar rims well, then seal them with lids and screwbands to fingertip tight, and into the pressure canner they go.

Pressure canner, used for making soupCanning / Processing Times

Can quart jars at 10 lbs. pressure for 90 minutes. If you are using pint jars, process at 10 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes. NOTE: If above 1,000 feet in elevation: weighted gauge (15 lb weight), dial gauge (12 lbs- at 2,000-4,000 feet elevation).

Pressure gauge, used for canning soup
When processing time is done, follow recommended pressure canning guidelines for jar removal, according to the manufacturer’s instructions for canner (wait for pressure to drop naturally, remove vent cover, wait 10 more minutes). After that, place hot jars of soup on a dish towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours, to cool and seal completely.

Label jars (love my dissolvable labels-so easy to clean off), and check to make jars have properly sealed. Remove screw bands (for storage), wipe jars clean, and place them in pantry to await a craving for (and the convenience of) this yummy, “ready-to-heat-and-eat” soup!

3 jars of canned ham and bean soup on red towel
Ready To Eat The Ham And Bean Soup

This is a picture of the very first time I opened a jar of this ham and bean soup (about a month later) and heated it up for our dinner. The ham and bean soup was DELICIOUS!

Bowl of ham and bean soup with garlic bread on sideSure hope you will give this ham and bean soup a try! It is delicious, even if you don’t can it in jars, for long term storage!

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5 from 2 votes
Ham and Bean Soup (and how to CAN it!)
Prep Time
1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
This hearty ham and bean soup will fill you up... plus instructions for canning it to save for later!
Category: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canning soup, ham and bean soup
Servings: 6 pints (or 3 Qts.) Total 12 servings
Calories Per Serving: 187 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 1 pound dried Navy beans
  • 1 1/2 quarts water (can also use chicken broth, if desired)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 large brown onion , chopped finely (about 1/2 pound)
  • 5 celery stalks , sliced
  • 6 ounces carrots , sliced thinly (1/4" slices)
  • 1/2 pound fully cooked ham , cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 whole Bay leaf
  • 6-8 whole peppercorns
  • Salt/pepper to taste (if canning, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint, 3/4 teaspoon per quart)
  • Parsley , chopped (add some to soup-to taste; also use as garnish when serving soup fresh)
To prepare the soup:
  1. Rinse beans thoroughly. Place beans in large soup pot; cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring beans to full boil, then reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove the soup pot from heat. Cover pot; let beans sit for one hour. Drain.
  2. Place beans back into soup pot. Cover with 1 1/2 quarts of fresh water (or chicken broth). Add the ham pieces, chopped parsley, and minced garlic. Add the peppercorns, and bay leaf (might want to put the peppercorns and bay leaf into a tea ball or a spice bag-they need to be removed from soup before serving OR canning). Simmer (covered) for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, add the carrots, celery, and onions; cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove spice bag. If NOT canning, add salt as desired. Serve soup hot, and enjoy!
If Canning:
  1. While soup is cooking, prepare canning jars and lids, according to general canning guidelines (wash jars, keep warm, prepare lids according to manufacturer instructions, etc.). Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and let it begin simmering (uncovered).
  2. When ready to fill warm jars, use a slotted spoon (and a canning funnel) to fill jars 2/3 full, with ham and veggie pieces. Then ladle the hot liquid into jars, being sure to leave 1" headspace. Remove air bubbles from each jar using a plastic knife or utensil. Wipe the rim of each jar really clean, then place lid and screwband on jar. Tighten to fingertip tight.
  3. Place covered and sealed jars onto rack in pressure canner (that contains 3 quarts water that has been simmering). Cover pressure canner. Crank up the heat; vent the steam for 10 minutes, then process at 10 pounds of pressure: Pints: 1 hour, 15 minutes. Quarts: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
  4. When processing time is complete, remove canner from heat. Let the pressure drop completely on it's own (follow your canner's manufacturer instructions carefully!), then carefully open lid. Remove hot jars with canning tongs and set them on a dish towel. Let them sit, undisturbed for 24 hours.
  5. Check to ensure all jars sealed properly, remove screwband rings, wipe jars clean, label, and store in pantry, out of direct sunlight.
Recipe Notes

Cook time indicated is for preparing soup to serve fresh.

If canning this recipe, cook time will also include 1 hour, 15 minutes for pints, OR 1 hour, 30 minutes for quarts.

If your elevation is over 1,000 feet, weighted gauge used should be 15 pounds.
A dial gauge should be at 12 pounds pressure for elevations 2,000-4,000 feet.

Nutrition Facts
Ham and Bean Soup (and how to CAN it!)
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 837mg36%
Potassium 608mg17%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 2445IU49%
Vitamin C 2.3mg3%
Calcium 76mg8%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Long pin for ham and bean soup




Ham and Bean Soup (and how to CAN it!)

35 Comments on Ham and Bean Soup (and how to CAN it!)

  1. I had actually canned some navy beans and I just opened up the jars and added them to my soup and canned them again. The beans are quite soft when you open the soup but actually I prefer them this way. I don’t even heat the ingredients up, just the broth, and then I put everything in the jars to pressure can again. Some may not like the consistency of this but I do. Everything is done safely. When I open up the jars they smell heavenly.

  2. Okay I feel really silly asking this but when exactly do I add the soup to the jars- I’m reading in the comments to not can after the beans are completely cooked or they will be mush. So now I’m just plain ol confused when that point is, please help! Lots of recommendations for this recipe and I have a ham in the freezer 🙂

    • Hi, Taylor-Can the soup right after the soup has been cooked following the directions and is hot. I think people are urging not to use canned beans (already pretty soft), for instance, because they would be way overcooked. We have never had mushy beans when we have opened a jar prepared in the manner shown.. Hope this helps! Have a great day.

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I made and pressure-canned a double batch last night. Normally I don’t open well-sealed new jars but I just had to try it. And it’s fabulous!!!! I ate a whole jar and I’m thinking about canning another batch tonight. Personally, I love how the taste of celery embraces ham so I found this perfect. Thank you, Chef!!!

  4. Hey guys just wanted to tell you something my brother told me. He said if in doubt about how much to can of something just take the number of weeks in a year and can enough to have one jar per week.It worked for me! Happy canning!!!

    • Hi, Linda… I have never done that before, so not quite sure how to answer. I do know that the beans may turn out quite mushy since you already fully cooked them. The canning process will further cook them.

  5. Your recipe for bean soup for canning sounds delicious. I cannot get your printable recipe to print. Help?

    • Hello, Anita… I double checked and there is no problem printing this recipe on the blog side of things. If you go to the recipe at the bottom of the page, there is the word PRINT right under the photo of the recipe. You simply click on the word PRINT and it will send it to your computer to print for you. If it doesn’t, there might be something in your computer’s settings that is preventing it from printing. That’s all I can tell you that might remotely help.

  6. I just finished canning 6 quarts of this ham and bean soup. It’s delicious!! I’m so happy I’m canning now!!

  7. I make Hoppin’ John every year for New Year’s Day dinner. It’s very similar to ham and bean soup, but uses black eyed peas instead of navy beans, and has kale (or collards in it) and served over rice. I always can my leftover ham and bean soup, so was thinking of trying to pressure can my Hoppin’ John (minus the rice). I was scouring the internet for recipes that showed canning time for Hoppin’ John, but no luck. I was thinking of pressure canning for the same weight and times as ham and bean soup since really the only difference is the black eyed peas. Thoughts? I too live in the PNW, and under 1,000 feet, so I’d can for that. Thank you!

  8. Way too much celery, in my opinion. At least for our taste. Wish I had figured it out BEFORE doubling the recipe and canning 6 quarts. Any thoughts how to remove some of the heavy celery taste when reheating?

  9. Love your recipe, just wondering if I can add add potatoes? my grandmother always had potatoes in her ham and bean soup.

  10. When talking about canning bean soup with ham you refer to a screw ring. Is that the ring that holds the flat cap to top of jar that seals? If so why do you remove the screw ring when storing?

    • Yes… screw ring, screw band. All the same thing, just different words. When I first began canning, I learned it is preferred to remove the screw ring when storing, because that way any food debris that might not have been totally wiped clean when you wipe down the jars can’t rust the screw ring tightly shut.

  11. What about using a digital electric pressure cooker?
    How much time?

    With my recipe I don’t use carrots (yuck) but I do use about 3 or 4 diced pieces of the small pepperoni. Yum!

    • Hi, Janis. I have no idea for timing using a digital electric pressure cooker. I have never ever used one, and so I can’t even begin to offer a good answer. So sorry. Hope you have a great day.

  12. Hi Sherry,

    Just put up 7 quarts of ham and bean soup. What is the shelf life?

    A tip for everyone…Buy a bone-in ham and take the meat off then put the bone in a crockpot on low for 10 hours. The meat that falls off the bone is very rich and the broth is wonderful. Mix the meat with the regular ham and dilute the broth 3 to 1. YUMMY!!!

    • Hi, Adrian. Most canning recommendations are to use the product canned within a year of canning. HOWEVER… I have stumbled upon several jars of canned soup in the back of our pantry that were well past their prime (a couple years old), and they tasted exactly the same as when I canned them. Hope that helps.

  13. Sounds SO good. I am looking through recipes to find a recipe to can my bean and ham soup. I use great northern beans with this soup, but i wanted to suggest that if you have a ham bone, boil it in water for a few hours and use that instead of just plain water or chicken broth. Thanks for the recipe. Tomorrow I will be making this. 🙂

    • Hi, Laurie! Thanks for writing, and thanks for a great tip others may want to try. Hope you enjoy the soup. I love having some canned jars of it on hand in our pantry throughout the year! Have a great day!

  14. When you swapped out your dehydrated celery for the fresh, did you change how much you put in? Or did you just add about “5 stalks worth?” I’d be curious to know how you measured.

    • Good morning, Cathy! Sorry for my late response to your question, but I’ve been on vacation out of the country for the past two weeks. The answer to your question is that I “guesstimated” how much dried, sliced celery, would be equivalent to 5 large stalks worth of “fresh” celery. It then re-hydrated during the cooking process without any problems. Hope that helps! I normally use fresh celery, but when I photographed the recipe for this post, decided to try out dehydrated celery lurking in our pantry! When you use “fresh” celery, the green color of the veggie will show better in the soup, but no real difference in taste! Have a great day.

  15. I have a question, I’ve already cooked my ham and beans, we couldn’t eat all of it now can I take from fridge and am I able to can it now? Since it’s already cooked and thick how long would I pressure cook them?

    • Good morning, Cheryl. I am just now seeing your comment (I took the weekend off). I am sorry, but I don’t have an answer for you on your question. We always continue to eat the leftovers for days after making them (just finished off a pot yesterday, as a matter of fact!). I make a ham and bean soup for canning, and that is cooked for 90 minutes at 10# pressure (for quart jars). HOWEVER… that is with the beans NOT FULLY COOKED. I really have never tried to can the pinto beans and ham, once already fully cooked, so that’s why I cannot safely answer your question. Thank you for writing, and again, I am truly sorry I don’t have a good answer for you. Have a GREAT day!

    • Hi, Sherry! Wow… 15 pints of soup to put up for the Fall and Winter. That is fantastic! So happy you saved out one bowl for the cook, ha ha! Glad you enjoyed the soup. We really like it, too! Thank you for taking time to write, and have a great day.

5 from 2 votes

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