Navy Bean & Ham Soup w/Holiday Leftover Ideas

by DanicasDaily on December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays everyone!  I LOVE holiday meals because to me leftovers always mean SOUP and tons of fun new recipes to make.  I LOVE Turkey Noodle Soup after turkey day and a warm, hearty bean soup after Christmas.  There is just something amazing that happens to soup when you add a smoky hambone, sweet pineapple glazed ham and a ton veggies.

I wanted to finish our Healthy Holiday Series with one of my favorite soups and some tasty Healthy Holiday Leftover ideas.  The next time you are trying to figure out what to do with all your holiday leftovers, give any of these leftover ideas a try.  I think you will make sure you buy extra next year just so you can look forward to this soup the day after Christmas!




  • 1 lb dried navy beans
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 leftover ham bone or smoked ham hock (optional)
  • A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Garnish with 2 pieces cooked & crumbled bacon and chopped fresh parsley, optional


1.  Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Soak overnight or use the following quick soak method.  Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans.

2.  Heat oil in a large stock pan over medium heat  and add ham.  Brown for about 4-5 minutes. Add bell pepper and the next 5 ingredients (bell pepper through minced garlic); sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Stir in the broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes, beans and hot sauce. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender.

3.  Remove ham bone and allow to cool.  Remove ham from bone and chop into pieces.  Add to soup if desired or save for another time.

4.  Place 2 cups of the bean mixture in a blender, and process until smooth. Return the puréed mixture to pan. If using, top with the bacon and parsley.

Makes 10, heaping 1 1/2 cup servings, 5 points+ each

Nutritional information per serving (excluding toppings) calculate at


Note: This soup will freeze well for up to two months. Pour into single serving airtight containers, leaving enough room for expansion (usually an inch or two at the top). To reheat, thaw completely in the refrigerator; then place contents in a saucepan over low heat, adding some liquid if necessary.



I froze some of our ham so I can make this New Years Day Soup next ~ doesn’t it sound amazing and I LOVE the stats.

Here are some other ideas for how you can use up all the leftovers you have from your healthy holiday celebration:

Mini Frittatas with Ham and Cheese Quiches (I make these every year – they are so easy and awesome!)

Ham & Cheese Scones

Green eggs and ham 😀

Ham, Spinach & Sun Dried Tomato Calzones

Ham & Pineapple Pita Pizza

Ham & Pineapple Sandwiches

Leftover Veggies tossed on salad

Is there such a thing as leftover Au Gratin Potatoes?

Oh and last, but, not least, do NOT forget to FREEZE your leftovers.  Make your own healthy little mini frozen dinners for the nights you don’t want to cook or save some ham for soup another day.

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday celebrating, enjoying your friends and family, eating too much deliciously healthy and not so healthy foods.  You can always get right back on track tomorrow ~ it’s one day a year so enjoy it!

See you all tomorrow when I resume blogging my daily eats along with a few highlights of our Christmas celebration and some of my FAVORITE gifts.


Night all!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy December 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Yum-O. That soup looks sooo good. I am sitting here in my living room at 12:25am and it crossed my mind to get up and make some soup! Love your Blog Danica! Thanks for all of the great recipes!



Emily December 31, 2009 at 8:11 am

This is just perfect…we just made a ham a couplle days ago!


Emily (The Experimentarian) January 3, 2010 at 7:31 am

Ooh yum! I love leftovers! I always think it’s such a great challenge to see what I can do with them. You have some great ideas for ham! Guess what? I am actually making bean soup with our leftover ham this afternoon! My recipe is similar to yours, so it’s kind of nice to know what nutritional stats I can expect. Happy New Year Miss D!


Chrystal N January 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I usually don’t even think to try ham and bean soups (not sure why – just had some sort of aversion to them), but this recipe came through on my email a couple of weeks ago and for some reason I just really wanted to try it. I finally got a chance to make it tonight and it was fabulous! My son enjoyed helping me make it, too :) Will definitely be bookmarking this one!


Michelle September 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Am making this soup tonight however, I did not see that it said to drain the diced tomatoes with green chilies, I did not and am nervous that I should have. The soup is simmering and smells good but smells spicy.

Did you or should you drain the tomatoes and green chilies?


DanicasDaily October 26, 2013 at 6:46 am

Hi Michelle,

Yum, I cannot wait to hear what you think. I do not drain the chilies or the tomatoes.




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