Nutrient-Dense Ham And Lima Bean Soup Recipe

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Savor the heartwarming goodness of our Ham and Lima Bean Soup, a rich and robust bowl of comfort that promises to delight your taste buds. The smoky sweetness of ham complements the creamy texture of lima beans, creating a symphony of flavors. Carrots, celery, and onions add a classic mirepoix base, while a bouquet of herbs infuses each spoonful with aromatic delight. Dive into this soul-soothing concoction and let the harmony of ingredients warm you from the inside out.

Indulge in the sublime fusion of textures and flavors with our vibrant Ham and Lima Bean Soup. This culinary masterpiece, brimming with succulent ham and buttery Lima beans, embraces the comfort of home-cooked meals. 

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Unleash your inner chef as you immerse in a journey filled with the robust, smoky notes of ham, harmoniously balanced by the subtle sweetness of Lima beans.

Infused with a medley of aromatic herbs, each spoonful rewards with a hearty symphony that teases and gratifies the palate. 

This wholesome, protein-packed feast warms your body and nourishes the soul, bridging the gap between nutrition and taste. Ideal for those cool nights or lazy Sunday afternoons, the Ham and Lima Bean Soup is a gentle reminder of life’s simple yet flavorful pleasures. 

Savor the love in each bowl; let the magical dance of flavors transport you to gastronomic nirvana.

What Is Ham And Lima Bean Soup?

Ham and Lima Bean Soup is a hearty, nutrient-dense culinary delight where smoky, savory ham meets Lima beans’ mild, buttery essence. The soup, a wonderful blend of high-quality protein and fiber, is complemented with aromatic herbs and spices

A steaming bowl offers a satisfying, wholesome meal, presenting a beautiful symphony of flavors. Reminiscent of home and comfort, it’s perfect for cool evenings or relaxed weekend afternoons. This soup not only tantalizes taste buds but also provides essential nutrients for health and wellness.

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto Use ham as the primary protein source, and replace Lima beans with a lower-carb vegetable like zucchini or cauliflower. Add more fats, such as heavy cream or cheese, to enhance the soup’s creaminess.
  • Paleo Opt for high-quality, sugar-free ham. Substitute Lima beans with green beans or carrots, and ensure the stock used is grain-free.
  • Gluten-Free This soup is naturally gluten-free as long as the broth doesn’t contain gluten additives. Always check the labels when using store-bought broth.
  • Whole30 Replace the traditional ham with a sugar-free and additive-free version. Use fresh Lima beans instead of canned ones, and ensure the broth is Whole30-compliant.
  • Vegetarian Skip the ham and use vegetable broth. Add more veggies or include tofu for added protein.
  • Vegan Follow the vegetarian version, but replace the butter often used for sautéing with olive or other plant-based oil.
Ingredient tips

Recipe Directions 

  1. Place lima beans in a Dutch oven, cover with water by 2 inches, and boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Drain and rinse beans; discard liquid.
  4. In the same oven, cook onions and garlic until tender.
  5. Add broth, ham, carrots, water, jalapeno, parsley, pepper, and lima beans, and boil.
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes until beans are tender.
  7. Serve hot, and enjoy.
Recipe Direction

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • For a creamier texture, blend half the soup and mix it back in.
  • Add a dash of white wine for an elevated flavor profile.
  • Introduce other beans like chickpeas or kidney beans for variety.


  • Enhance the protein content by adding diced chicken or tofu.
  • Introduce vegetables like bell peppers, peas, or corn for a more nutrient-dense soup.
  • Add potatoes or barley to make it heartier.


  • Sprinkle fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for a fresh touch.
  • A dollop of sour cream or a swirl of cream can add richness.
  • Crumbled bacon or sautéed mushrooms offer a delightful texture contrast.
  • Grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese gives a lovely cheesy finish.
  • A drizzle of hot sauce or a sprinkling of chili flakes can add a spicy kick.
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Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Place the lima beans in the slow cooker and cover with water. Let them soak overnight (skip the boiling step).
  • The next day, drain and rinse the beans.
  • In a skillet, sauté onions, and garlic until tender, then add them to the slow cooker.
  • Add the broth, ham, carrots, water, jalapeno, parsley, pepper, and the prepared beans to the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the beans are tender.

Instant Pot

  • Follow the same initial steps as the original recipe for soaking and boiling the lima beans.
  • Using the sauté function on the Instant Pot, sauté onions and garlic until tender.
  • Add the broth, ham, carrots, water, jalapeno, parsley, pepper, and the prepared beans to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid, set the valve to “sealing,” and cook on high pressure for 15-20 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10-15 minutes, then carefully quickly release any remaining pressure.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • This convenient option saves time, especially in a rush. Look for low-sodium versions to control the amount of salt in your soup. Organic and preservative-free options can be healthier choices.

Homemade Broth

  • If you have the time, homemade broth often has a richer flavor and allows for more control over the ingredients, such as salt content and choice of vegetables and herbs. It can be made in large batches and frozen in portions for later use.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup

How To Serve ?

  • With a Side: While the soup can be a meal, it pairs wonderfully with a slice of crusty bread, a side salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich for a heartier meal.
  • Toppings: Enhance the flavor and texture by adding a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, or a squeeze of lime. Crispy bacon bits or croutons could also add a delightful crunch.
  • In a Bread Bowl: For a unique and satisfying presentation, serve the soup in an edible bread bowl.
  • In a Mug: For a cozy, casual feel, especially in the winter months, serve the soup in a large mug.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread or Rolls: A slice of crusty bread or warm rolls can mop broth in your bowl.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A gooey, crispy cheese sandwich could make for a hearty, comforting meal.
  • Green Salad: A light, fresh salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance out the heartiness of the soup.
  • Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or cauliflower can add a delightful crunch and flavor.
  • Cornbread: A slice of warm, buttery cornbread could complement the savory soup wonderfully.
  • Quinoa or Brown Rice Salad: A high-protein grain salad could add more nutritional value to your meal.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover Ham and Lima Bean Soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors often meld, enhancing the taste over time.
  • Freezing: This hearty soup freezes well. Portion it into airtight containers, leaving some space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup base in advance, excluding any pasta or delicate vegetables. Refrigerate the base and add these ingredients just before serving to maintain their texture and flavor.
  • Thawing: When reheating frozen soup, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight for better consistency.
  • Enhanced Flavor: For a more robust taste, consider making the soup a day ahead, allowing the flavors to meld in the refrigerator.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Reheat and Eat: The most straightforward way is to reheat and serve it as is. Often, the flavors deepen overnight.
  • Stew Transformation: Thicken the soup with a bit of flour or cornstarch and serve it over rice or mashed potatoes for a hearty stew.
  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stove until it’s thicker, and toss it with cooked pasta for a quick meal.
  • Filled Pancakes or Crepes: Use thickened soup as a savory filling for pancakes or crepes
  • Pot Pie Filling: Top the soup with a puff pastry lid and bake it in the oven for a quick pot pie.
  • Bread Bowl: Hollow out a loaf of bread and pour reheated soup inside for an edible bowl.
  • Risotto or Jambalaya Base: Use the soup as a flavorful base for dishes like risotto or jambalaya, adding rice and additional ingredients as needed.


  • Citrus Zest Kick: Elevate your Ham and Lima Bean Soup by adding a burst of freshness with a sprinkle of citrus zest. Lemon or orange zest can uplift the flavors, offering a vibrant twist.
  • Herb Infusion: Introduce a garden-fresh vibe by infusing the soup with a medley of aromatic herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage. The herbal notes will complement the hearty ham and creamy lima beans.
  • Smoky Sensation: Enhance the smokiness of the ham by incorporating a dash of smoked paprika. This subtle addition will add depth and complexity to each spoonful.
  • Grainy Goodness: Stir in a handful of cooked quinoa or barley for a wholesome, textured element. These grains not only contribute to the heartiness but also enrich the soup’s nutritional profile.
  • Cheese Melange: For a decadent touch, top each serving with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar or Parmesan. The cheesy goodness melds seamlessly with the savory ham and velvety lima beans.
Nutrient-Dense Ham And Lima Bean Soup Recipe

Nutrient-Dense Ham And Lima Bean Soup Recipe

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Course: Soup Recipe


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Cooking time





Indulge in the robust, soul-warming flavors of Ham and Lima Bean Soup. This soup celebrates simple ingredients and captures the essence of homestyle cooking. The result? A dish that comforts your soul satisfies your hunger, and offers a nutritious feast.

Ingredients List

  • 1/2 pound 1/2 Dried Baby Lima Beans

  • 2 cups 2 Onions, chopped

  • 2 ounce 2 Garlic cloves, minced

  • 14.5 ounce 14.5 Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Fully Cooked Lean Ham, cubed

  • 1 cup 1 Fresh Carrots, sliced

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Water

  • 1 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded & chopped

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Fresh Parsley, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Pepper

Step-By-Step Directions

  • First, gather your ingredients and place the lima beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle.
  • Pour enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Place the Dutch oven over high heat and bring the water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, let the beans cook for 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, remove the Dutch oven from the heat, cover it, and let the beans stand for 1 hour. This process will soften them.
  • After 1 hour, drain the beans and rinse them under cool water. Discard the liquid.
  • Coat the same Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray and heat it over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic to the oven and cook them, stirring occasionally, until they become tender and aromatic.
  • Next, stir the broth, ham, carrots, additional water, jalapeno, parsley, pepper, and the prepared lima beans into the onion and garlic mixture.
  • Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the Dutch oven, and let the soup simmer for about 50 minutes or until the lima beans are tender.
  • Finally, check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Your Ham and Lima Bean Soup is ready to be served. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish if desired, and serve hot for a comforting meal.
  • Stockpot or large saucepan
  • Stirring spoon or ladle
  • Cutting board
  • Knife (chef’s knife or utility knife)
  • Blender or immersion blender (optional for pureed soups)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Vegetable peeler (for peeling carrots, potatoes, etc.)
  • Can opener (if using canned ingredients)
  • Strainer or sieve (for removing solids from liquid)
  • Timer (for keeping track of cooking times)
  • Oven mitts or pot holders (for handling hot pots and pans)
  • Kitchen towels or paper towels


  • Bean Preparation: If you use dried lima beans, give them enough time to soak and cook properly. You can speed up the soaking process with the quick-soak method mentioned in the recipe. If you’re short on time, canned lima beans are a convenient alternative – remember to rinse them to reduce the sodium content.
  • Spiciness: The jalapeno pepper adds a touch of heat to this soup. If you prefer a milder flavor, remove the seeds and membrane from the pepper, as that’s where most of the heat is. Feel free to leave the pepper out if you’re not a fan of spicy food.
  • Broth Choice: The choice of broth can significantly impact the soup’s final flavor. A good-quality chicken, vegetable or even ham broth would work well.
  • Storage: This soup stores well, making it perfect for meal prep. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days or can be frozen for longer-term storage.
  • Serving Suggestions: The soup is quite hearty and can be a meal. But if you want to round it out, consider pairing it with a green salad or a slice of crusty bread.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables you have on hand, like celery or bell peppers. This versatile soup can easily be customized to your taste and dietary needs.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

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