Easy Ham and Bean Soup (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

Bean soup HP

Knowing that lots of people now own Instant Pots—and didn’t when I originally posted this recipe—I’ve updated the recipe to include IP directions (as well as updated the photos). Don’t worry, the soup itself is just as good as it always has been.  

Beans are so good year ’round, especially when you want something comforting. It’s filling, thick, warming and nutritious. It’s also an inexpensive recipe to make (a plus after the holidays). Dried beans are a bargain any time, and a leftover ham bone is often hanging around in the freezer or fridge after the holiday feasts. Feel free to add some extra veggies to the soup or swap in what you have on hand. Chopped carrots are a natural fit, but you could also stir in chopped kale or spinach leaves toward the end of cooking.


When I make this recipe in the slow cooker I usually soak the beans overnight, but if you pre-soak for 24 hours you can knock off an hour or two from the cooking times (see slow cooker directions). The soup is done when then beans are cooked to the texture you prefer. I like very soft beans and thick soup, hence the longer cook time on this recipe. For a thinner soup or more firm beans, adjust the cooking time down.

For the Instant Pot version you don’t need to pre-soak the beans at all, and the total prep/cooking time will be around 1 1/2 hours (compared to about 12 1/2 hours for the slow cooked version).




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