White Bean Soup with Ham and Chard
Soak beans overnight to make this delicious White bean and Ham Soup with Chard; I promise it’s worth it! And this tasty soup is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
All winter I’ve been making some of my favorite soup recipes from the past and updating photos for the blog, and this delicious White Bean Soup with Ham and Chard was first posted in February 2007 when my friend Alanna of a Veggie Venture was collecting soup recipes. I made a couple of different soups for Alanna’s month of soup, and since I have a weakness for soups that combine beans with greens, this is one I’ve made many times since. If you don’t have chard, any kind of greens will work, but I do think chard deserves more respect, and I love it in this soup.
Soak 3 cups of white beans overnight or for about 8 hours. When you’re ready to make the soup, drain and rinse the beans and pick out any broken ones. Chop up the carrots, celery, and onions. Chop up the ham, saving the rind if you have one.
You can skip this step, but I sauteed the vegetables with the minced garlic, dried sage, and ground fennel in the bottom of the soup pot for a few minutes before I put the in the other ingredients. Put the chicken stock, water, dried, bay leaves, soaked beans, and ham rind (if available) into the pot and cook about an hour at a low simmer (or until beans are starting to soften.) Then add the diced ham and cook about 30 minutes more, until the beans are very soft and starting to split apart.
Taste the soup at this point and if it doesn’t have as much ham flavor as you’d like, you can add a small amount of ham flavor base. This Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate is my favorite, but other brands I’ve used include Penzeys, Better Than Bouillon, or Knorr ham flavor base. (All these are relatively high in sodium so use sparingly or avoid if you’re limiting your sodium intake.) Trim the chard and slice into strips and add to the soup, with a little more water if needed. Cook about 20-30 minutes more. Soup is done when the chard is very soft and starting to almost dissolve into the soup.
Serve hot, with plenty of fresh-ground black pepper!
More White Bean Soups You Might Like:
Slow Cooker Kielbasa and White Bean Stew with Tomatoes and Spinach ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
White Bean and Ham Soup from Simply Recipes
Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Ham and Sherry Vinegar ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tomato, Zucchini, White Bean, and Basil Soup ~ The Perfect Pantry
White Bean Soup with Ham and Rosemary ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
White Bean Soup with Ham and Chard
Soak beans overnight to make this delicious White bean and Ham Soup with Chard; I promise it’s worth it!
- 3 cups dry white beans, soaked 8 hours or overnight
- 2 tsp. olive oil (for sauteeing vegetables and seasonings, optional)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 T minced garlic (I used garlic puree in a jar)
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. ground fennel seed (optional but recommended)
- 10 cups homemade chicken stock or 6 cans chicken broth (1 can is just over 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cups water
- 3-4 dried bay leaves
- 2 cups diced ham plus ham rind if available
- 1 bunch chopped red chard (about 4 cups)
- Goya ham bouillon if needed (depends on how flavorful your ham is)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Soak dried beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and pick out any broken ones and discard. Chop up the ham, saving the rind if there is one.
- Chops carrots, celery, and onion. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of the soup pot, add vegetables, garlic, dried sage, and ground fennel and saute 3-5 minutes. (This is completely optional, but it gets the flavors of the sage and fennel into the vegetables.)
- Add the soaked beans, chicken stock, water, bay leaves, and ham rind if available. Simmer on low heat for one hour.
- Add diced ham and cook 30 minutes more, or longer if needed, until beans are quite soft.
- Trim center stem from chard leaves and discard, then cut each leaf in fourths lengthwise, and slice crosswise into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Wash chard after chopping if needed. (If the leaves are big, cut the pieces in half again.)
- Add chard to soup with one cup additional water. Taste for flavor and add ham bouillon if desired. (I nearly always add a small amount.)
- Cook about 20-30 minutes more, until chard and beans are starting to break apart. Season with fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This White bean and Ham Soup with Chard is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients like beans, ham, and chard, but with the carrots it would be limited to Phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet. I think the soup would also be delicious without carrots if you wanted to make it for Phase One. You could make this a lower-carb soup by using more ham and vegetables and less beans, but soup with beans is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more 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.
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