Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme
This delicious 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.
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. If you’re not big on spinach, I think Kale or Swiss Chard would also be delicious in this soup.
How to Make Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme:
(Scroll down for complete recipe plus nutritional information.)
- Cooking your own dried beans is really the most flavorful option for this type of soup, but if you want to use white beans from a can, you definitely won’t get any judgement from me. (I cooked two pounds of beans, then froze half of them and used half in the soup. And if you look closely you can see that I got distracted and my beans got a little overdone, but luckily that doesn’t matter for soup.) Here’s How to Cook Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot or if you haven’t done it.
- If you’re cooking beans from scratch, once the beans are done put about 6 cups of cooked beans (4 cans) into a large slow cooker with 6 cups ham stock or chicken stock. I had some ham juice from the bottom of the slow cooker we cooked the ham in, but if I have to use chicken stock for soups with ham, I like to add a little Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate (affiliate link) to flavor the soup.
- Cook the beans, onions, dried thyme, and stock about 2 hours on high.
- Then add the chopped ham and cook about 2 hours more.
- When the soup has cooked several hours and all ingredients are starting to taste good together, chop 5 oz. baby spinach and add to the soup.
- Cook 30-45 minutes more. (I like the greens fairly well done.)
- Season to taste with plenty of fresh-ground black pepper and a little salt if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!
And I promise, this soup is amazing!
Ten More Delicious Beans Soups with Greens
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Peppery Sausage White Bean Kale Soup ~ Boulder Locavore
Chickpea (garbanzo bean) Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Kale and White Bean Soup ~ The Corner Kitchen
White Bean and Ham Soup with Chard ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
White Bean Soup with Ham, Pumpkin, and Chard ~ Simply Recipes
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
White Bean, Kale, and Italian Sausage Soup ~ Bev Cooks
Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Ham and Sherry Vinegar ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Italian Black Bean, Sausage, and Spinach Soup ~ Barefeet in the Kitchen
More Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Soup Recipes:
Visit the Index Page for Soups and Stews to see all the slow cooker and pressure cooker soups I’ve featured on Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker!
- 6 cups cooked white beans (see notes)
- 6 cups ham stock or chicken stock
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2-3 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)
- If you’re starting with dried beans and cooking them in the slow cooker, you might want to read How to Cook Dried Beans in a CrockPot. (Soaking beans overnight will slightly shorten the cooking time, but they can also be cooked without soaking.)
- Put 1 lb. dried white beans in a colander, rinse the beans and pick through to be sure there are no stones or broken pieces.
- Put beans into the slow cooker with enough water to cover by about 2 inches.
- Cook beans on HIGH until they’re soft, about 3-4 hours for soaked beans or a bit longer for unsoaked beans. (Cooking time will be determined largely by how fresh the beans are, so older beans take longer to cook and fresher ones will cook a little more quickly.)
- Drain beans and discard the cooking water.
- Put cooked beans, ham stock or chicken stock, chopped onion, and dried thyme into the slow cooker and cook on HIGH about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours coarsely chop the ham and add to the slow cooker (with a little Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate if desired.)
- Cook on HIGH about 2 hours more.
- Chop the spinach and add to the soup.
- Cook on high 30-45 minutes more.
- Season soup to taste with fresh-ground black pepper and salt. (Remember ham is salty so you won’t need much salt.)
- Serve hot.
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.
I made this soup in my 6 quart Ninja Cooker. If you only have a smaller slow cooker, the recipe could certainly be cut in half. 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.
Recipe created by Kalyn when she had beans in the pantry and leftover ham from Thanksgiving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 1804mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 9gSugar: 4gProtein: 48g
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.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Dried beans are considered a “good carb” for the South Beach Diet, and they’re permitted for all phases of South Beach. However, for Phase One dried beans are limited to 1/2 – 2/3 cup serving size, so have just a small bowl of this Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme if you’re doing Phase One. For other types of low-carb eating plans, I would probably 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.
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