Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme

This Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme can be made cooked dried beans, or use canned beans if you prefer.

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Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme shown in bowl with spoon and drink in background

Want to know one of my favorite tricks for increasing the nutritional value of most any kind of soup? Add some greens! Dark leafy greens are the the most nutritious foods per calorie of all the world’s healthiest foods, and the flavor of leafy greens goes with so many other foods. This Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach and Thyme started with leftover ham from Thanksgiving and dried beans in the pantry. Once I had the idea in mind, all I needed was a package of baby spinach and by the end of the day I had this delicious soup.

I took some of the soup to my brother Mark and his wife Lisa, since they’re the ones who brought the ham for Thanksgiving. A few days later Mark texted me to say the healthy bean soup was a winner. 

What ingredients do you need for this soup?

  • cooked white beans or canned beans
  • canned chicken broth
  • onion
  • dried thyme or ground thyme
  • cooked ham, coarsely chopped
  • Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate, optional but good
  • baby spinach
  • fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste (remember ham is salty; this doesn’t need much salt)

What other kinds of greens can you use?

If you’re not big on spinach, I think Kale or Swiss Chard would also be delicious in this soup.

What size Slow Cooker did I use?

I made this soup in my 6 quart Ninja Cooker, which isn’t that readily available any more, but any type of Crock-Pot Large Oval Slow Cooker (affiliate link) that’s at least six quarts will be fine.  If you only have a smaller slow cooker, the recipe could certainly be cut in half.

Can this soup be frozen?

This freezes well, and you’ll be glad you have some to pull out of the freezer when you get home late on a cold night.

Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme process shots collage

How to Make Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme:

(Scroll down for complete recipe plus nutritional information.)

  1. Cooking your own dried beans is really the most flavorful option for this type of soup. (I cooked two pounds of beans, then froze half and used half in the soup. Here’s How to Cook Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot or if you haven’t done it. If cooking dried beans from scratch doesn’t work for you, no judgement from me. Just use 4 cans of white beans!
  2. Put 6 cups of cooked beans (4 cans) into a large slow cooker with 6 cups chicken broth (or use partly ham stock if you have some).
  3. I ham juice from the bottom of the slow cooker we cooked the ham in, but if I’m using chicken broth for soups with ham, I like to add a little Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate (affiliate link) to flavor the soup.
  4. Cook the beans, onions, dried thyme, and stock about 2 hours on  high. 
  5. Then add the chopped ham and cook about 2 hours more.
  6. When the soup has cooked several hours and all ingredients are starting to taste good together, chop 5 oz. baby spinach (or other greens) and add to the soup. 
  7. Cook 30-45 minutes more.  (I like the greens fairly well done.)
  8. Season to taste with plenty of fresh-ground black pepper and a little salt if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Delicious Bean Soups with Greens

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup 
Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil 
White Bean Soup with Ham and Chard 
Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard 
CrockPot BeanSoup with Ham and Kale 

Want more Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Soup Recipes?

Visit the Soups and Stews Index to see all the slow cooker and pressure cooker soups I’ve featured on my other site, Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker!

Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme found on KalynsKitchen.com

Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Total Time 9 hours 40 minutes

This Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme can be made with beans cooked in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, or use canned beans if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked white beans (or use 4 cans white beans)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme or ground thyme
  • 3 cups cooked ham, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 packets Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate (optional)
  • 5 oz. package baby spinach
  • fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste (remember ham is salty; this doesn’t need much salt)

Instructions

  1. Here's How to Cook Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot if you're cooking dried white beans.
  2. Just use four 15 oz. cans white beans if you prefer to use canned beans. (No need to rinse the beans for this recipe.)
  3. Put cooked beans, chicken broth (or partly ham stock, chopped onion, and dried thyme (or ground thyme) into the slow cooker and cook on HIGH about 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours coarsely chop the ham and add to the slow cooker, with Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate (affiliate link) if desired.
  5. Cook on HIGH about 2 hours more.
  6. Chop the spinach and add to the soup.
  7. Cook on high 30-45 minutes more.
  8. Season soup to taste with fresh-ground black pepper and salt.  (Remember ham is salty so you won’t need much salt.)
  9. Serve hot.

Notes

For the beans, use about 1 lb. dried beans and follow the options above to cook them, or use 4 cans beans, 15 oz. size can.

Canned chicken broth is fine for this recipe, but I'd use partly ham stock if you have some. I highly recommend adding a little Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate (affiliate link) if you don't have ham stock.

Recipe created by Kalyn when she had beans in the pantry and leftover ham from Thanksgiving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 1606mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 9gSugar: 3gProtein: 34g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!


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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Dried beans are considered a “good carb” for the original South Beach Diet, and they’re permitted for all phases of South Beach. For other types of low-carb eating plans, I would make the soup with more ham and greens and less beans, but soup with dried beans is probably too high in carbs for strict low-carb diets.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes for more tasty soups like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2015. It was last updated with more information in 2021.

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    4 Comments on “Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme”

  1. I love dried beans! so much more affordable too! Great recipe

  2. I notice this recipe says it will serve 8. What is the size of the serving?

    • Sorry, I can't really answer that. I don't measure out a serving when I make the recipe, just estimate how many servings it would be based on what I consider an average serving.