Mom's Slow Cooker Ham & Bean Soup {for TWO!}

I called my mom up the other day, and the first words out of my mouth were, "I can't believe I am asking you this, but…what's the recipe for your ham and bean soup."

She paused for so long that I wondered if she hung up. 

"I thought you hated my ham and bean soup," she said.

She's right. I did. As a kid when my brother, sister and I would get off the school bus in the fall we'd cringe when we smelled her ham and bean soup in the kitchen. You see, my parents are farmers and the harvest season is crazy busy for them. My mom was a slow cooker queen starting in late September, all of October, and sometimes into November.

However, I was craving that fall soup from my childhood. Not her exact soup, per say, but still a simple, hearty soup with more modern flavors. Also, unlike my mom's family-style meals, I wanted a slow cooker soup that would feed just the two of us with minimal leftovers.

During that quick phone call she told me everything that was in her 'family famous' soup, and I made some modifications. Those modifications, my friend, are just what I was craving. John must have enjoyed this one, because he had three bowls with a big hunk of homemade, buttered bread. 


You'll need: 
1 cup of dried soup beans (I bought mine from the Amish bulk store)
1 cup of ham (I used the ends from a ham that our butcher wrapped up. He know we don't waste.)
1/2 of a small white onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
a handful of kale
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of water
a pinch of oregano, thyme, savory
a pinch of coarse ground black pepper

Directions: 
1. Soak your beans for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

2. The next morning, put your ham in the slow cooker with a pinch of coarse ground black pepper. Set it on low and let it roll for at least 4 hours.

3. At this time, you'll want to rinse your beans and cook them until nearly done on the stove (about 20 minutes).

4. Pull your ham from the slow cooker and shred or dice it up.

5. Add the ham back to the slow cooker, with the cooked beans, onion, celery, garlic, and oregano, thyme, and savory.

6. Continue to cook in the slow cooker for at least an hour, but feel free to eat whenever you're ready! Just before you eat, throw in some kale that you slice into ribbons.


This really is the perfect fall soup for a Saturday or Sunday when you're puttering around the house and snacking grazing all day long.


I enjoyed a bowl on our front porch, watching the cars drive by, listening to the Iowa Hawkeyes Football game on the radio. 


Tell me about a favorite recipe from your momma or family. Leave a comment, please!

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