Smoky White Bean and Ham Soup



Recipe Information

Total Time: 

8 hours, 15 minutes; 20 minutes active



This is one of our High Five recipes, made from five main ingredients or less. Simplify your life with more delicious High Five recipes.

White beans are creamy and mild tasting, and they take on the smoky flavor of an inexpensive ham hock or turkey leg. It's a great way to make a little bit of meat flavor a whole pot of beans, providing all the protein you need.


The High Five

  • 1 cup navy beans, sorted and rinsed, soaked for at least 6 hours
  • 1 ham hock or smoked turkey leg
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens, chopped

Pantry and Kitchen Items

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine the beans, water, ham hock or turkey leg, carrot and onion in a large pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer the beans for about an hour and a half. Add more water if the water level drops too low.
  2. Remove the ham hock or turkey leg and let cool, then pick off the meat, discarding the bone. Chop meat into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Add the collard greens, thyme, pepper flakes and salt to the pot and cover again for 30 minutes longer. The beans will be very tender and the greens soft. Stir in the reserved ham or turkey and simmer to heat through. Serve hot.

Serving Suggestion

Serve with a spinach salad and a slice of crusty whole wheat bread, for lunch or dinner.

Tips & Notes

For a vegan version, skip the ham and stir in a package of chopped smoky tempeh “bacon” after the greens are cooked, and heat through before serving.

Nutritional Information

530 calories, 25 g. fat, 75 mg. cholesterol, 410 mg. sodium, 44 g. carbohydrate, 17 g. fiber, 33 g. protein