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15 Bean Ham Soup

A delicious hearty soup seasoned with chunks of ham. Superb with hot crusty cornbread. Recipe and photography by Beverly Davis for CornbreadMillionaire.com.
Prep Time8 hours
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time8 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beans, soup
Servings: 12 servings


  • 1 package (20 ounces) 15 Bean Soup Hurst's Ham Beens Brand
  • water for soaking and boiling
  • 6-8 pieces chopped ham, rinsed
  • salt to taste
  • ham seasoning Packaged with dry beans.


  • Spread beans out on a large plate or other surface. Remove/discard debris.
  • Pour beans into a colander. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Pour rinsed beans into a large lidded container. Cover with water. Top with lid. Place in fridge. Soak 4-8 hours for tender/firm beans. Soak overnight for very soft beans. Soaking removes unpleasant gas.
  • Drain soak water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Place beans in large saucepan or dutch oven. Add chopped ham pieces. Cover with water.
  • Simmer over low-medium heat WITHOUT LID. Watch closely. Foam will form minutes after simmering. Skim off. If not removed, foam will "disappear" in beans. See cooking notes for more info.
  • Cover with lid. Simmer over low-medium heat until desired tenderness. Lightly stir to prevent breakage. Add more water if necessary to reach desired tenderness.
  • After reaching desired tenderness, turn off heat. Season with salt as preferred. Add a little ham seasoning (packaged in bag of dry beans). Stir lightly. Cool and taste a sample. Add more ham seasoning if desired.
  • Serve hot. Excellent with crusty cornbread.


Shortly after beans start boiling, white foam will form on top.  This is phytic acid, a toxin that irritates the stomach in most people.  I always skim off.
How to Cook Dried Beans is an informative article from Bon Appetit.