Northern Ham and Bean Soup

I consider this Northern Ham and Bean Soup recipe a Super Soup because it has versatile preparation methods and it also freezes very well. I started making this soup years ago using the Betty Crocker recipe and it was always my go to recipe when I had left over ham. I love making a double batch and then freezing half of the soup.

In 2013 I started making “meals in a jar” recipes and I converted this recipe to dry ingredients. Now that I have bottles of this soup mix in my food storage I cook it more often. It’s easier to make when the ingredients are already chopped and measured and it’s also cheaper to make.



Place the ingredients into the jar in the order given in the recipe and it has a 1 year shelf life. If you go a step further and take the oxygen out of the jar it will extend the shelf life to 5-6 years.   To remove the oxygen from the jar look for instructions HERE.

All of the ingredients in the jar have a 10 year shelf life except for the instant potato pearls. Even if the jar were to become outdated the potatoes can easily be replaced and the rest of the jar can still be used up to 10 years.

Another reason why this recipe is one of my favorites is because I can make it in the slow cooker, in a pot on the stove or I can make it in the thermal cooker when I go camping… so let me summarize how versatile this recipe is:

1) It can be made with leftover ham and mashed potatoes and you can make it with fresh ingredients.  (That recipe is on the PDF file)

2) You can use the Meal in a Jar recipe that is faster to cook.

3) And the Meal in a Jar recipe is cheaper to cook than using fresh ingredients.

4) The leftover soup can be frozen so you can make a double batch.  I teach this recipe in the “Frozen with Love” class and demonstrate how to use the FoodSaver to freeze the soup.  Click here for the Frozen With Love Freezer Meal Class

5) You can use a left over bone from a ham and stretch the dollar.  Also, cooking the bone in your soup makes a healthier broth.

6) The Meal in a Jar version has a 5-6 year shelf life when the oxygen is removed from the jar.

7) It can be cooked in the Slow Cooker (See video on this webpage)  or Instant Pot

8) Cooked in a pot on the stove

9) Or cooked in the thermal cooker and eaten on a trip or prepared when camping. I like to keep this jar in my camping trailer because it won’t freeze in the winter.  On the PDF file there is a card of cooking instructions for the thermal cooker that can be inserted in the jar.

10) The meal in a jar version is a good meal to have in an emergence and the instructions are inside of the jar


Frozen with Love - Freezer Meals Link to the “Frozen with Love” class about freezer meals  





Northern Ham and Bean Soup
Recipe type: Meal in a Jar Food Storage Recipe
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cups
This jar has a 1 year shelf life but if you remove the oxygen from the jar it will extend the shelf life to 5-6 years. webpage with instructions: This is a great freezer meal too
  • In the bottom of a wide mouth quart sized jar place 1½ cup of dry White Beans and ¼ tsp Baking Soda.
  • In a sandwich size baggie put: ½ cup Dehydrated Onion, ¼ cup Dehydrated Carrots, ¼ cup Freeze Dried Celery, 1 TBL Shriley J Beef Broth Powder, 1 tsp. Salt, ½ tsp Pepper, ½ tsp Garlic powder. Tie the baggie closed and place this baggie of vegetables and spices into the jar on top of the beans.
  • In a small baggie put ¾ cup Potato Pearls. Place this baggie in the jar on top of the other baggie.
  • Push baggies down into the jar so the plastic won't hang outside of the glass opening. Remove the oxygen from the jar with a FoodSaver or place an Oxygen Absorber into the jar and seal.
  • Ingredients added on cooking day: 2 cups diced ham and 1 can tomato sauce or paste
  1. Slow Cooking Instructions: Remove bags of vegetables and potatoes from the jar. Fill jar with water and soak beans overnight.
  2. The next day, rinse beans and put them in the slow cooker. Add 8 cups of water, 2 cups diced ham and 1 can of tomato sauce. Cook on low 8-10 hours.
  3. An hour before serving soup remove 2 cups of water from the beans and stir baggie of potatoes into water until potatoes are hydrated and smooth. Add potatoes to slow cooker. Add bag of vegetables to slow cooker. Increase heat to high and cook 30-60 more minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 191 Fat: 3.5 g Saturated fat: 0.8g Carbohydrates: 30.9 g Sugar: 5.2g Sodium: 2,069.3 mg Fiber: 4.1 g Protein: 11.9 g Cholesterol: 15.9 mg


I love recipes like this that are great for food storage and easy to cook because it makes it easier to rotate your food storage. I purchased most of the ingredients from the LDS Home Storage Center. People of any religion can go there and take advantage of the great prices. If there isn’t a location close to you, you can order the ingredients online buy clicking HERE. In Jan 2019 if cost $3 for the ingredients in the jar.

When you eat recipes often that contains Beans your digestive system will get use to beans and you won’t have a problem digesting them. This recipe has baking soda that is placed in the jar with the beans.  It helps reduce the raffinose (which is a starch that is poorly digested due to the lack of the enzyme galactosidase).

Since I have been making meals in a jar I have noticed that the Beef Broth powder (and Chicken Broth powders) measure different among the different brands. The brand I used in this recipe is the Shirley J brand that only takes only ½ teaspoon with 1 cup of water to make 1 cup of broth. I have also purchased the powder before at Emergency Essentials and that brand takes 1 Tablespoon to make 1 cup of broth. When you’re making a recipe there is a BIG difference between ½ teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon.  It’s important for you to understand this.

In the Northern Ham and Bean soup recipe I use a brand that uses ½ tsp and I needed enough powder to make 9 cups of Broth = 1 Tablespoon. If the brand you purchased uses 1 tsp for make 1 cup of broth then you would need 9 teaspoons of powder (or 3 Tablespoons) instead of 1 Tablespoon. If you were to purchase the brand from Emergency Essentials that takes 1 Tablespoon to make 1 cup of broth then in this recipe you will need 9 Tablespoons (or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) I hope you can understand the point I’m trying to make about ½ tsp being a big difference from 1 Tablespoon.    Please adjust the recipe according to the brand of powder you purchase.

When the instructions cards are laminate it can be inserted into the jar.  The card can also be tied on the outside of the jar with string or jute.  I use a China Marker to write the use by date on the card and then when I use the ingredients in the recipe the date can be wiped off the card and it can be reused again.   The file with the instruction cards is a 9 page PDF file that also gives the instructions how to make the jars.  The file also has an instruction card about how to cook the recipe in the thermal cooker.  (Both the 7 Liter sized Thermal Cooker and the 5.5 Liter size).  I like having the instructions in the jar with me because I take this soup camping and make it in the Thermal Cooker.  

Northern Ham & Bean Soup PDF file

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