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Great Northern White Bean and Ham Soup With Southern Corn Bread

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I enjoy cooking and baking, and I share some of my family's favorite holiday recipes.

Great northern white bean and ham soup with Southern corn bread

Great northern white bean and ham soup with Southern corn bread

Great Northern White Bean and Ham Soup

We love great northern white beans. I always had them as a kid with corn bread. This is one of our go-to recipes when we have leftover ham.

Some information on dry northern beans:

  • Store dry beans in a cool, dry place off the floor. Once I open the beans, I store them in a glass jar; it keeps the bugs away.
  • Store cooked beans in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use within 2 days.
  • Before cooking dry beans, be sure to check the beans. Go through them for small rocks or bad-looking beans that are discolored. Once sorted, rinse them in cold water.

Some people soak beans overnight. The beans will triple in size when soaked and cooked, so make sure you have a big enough pot. I always use a Dutch oven for my beans. I don't soak the beans; the purpose of soaking is to cut down the time for cooking. I always cook beans for hours to get all the flavor into them. Don't overcook them, however, because then they will turn to mush.

Fast Soaking Method

  • Pour boiling water over beans and soak for 1 hour.

Overnight Soaking Method

  1. Place the beans in a large pot.
  2. Cover with water at least 3 inches above beans.
  3. In the morning, drain off the soaking water.
  4. Add fresh water to the pot.
Preparing the soup

Preparing the soup

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

3 hours

3 hours

12 servings


  • 1 lb. great northern dry beans
  • 1 (2-lb.) box chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 leftover ham or ham bone
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups water


  1. Rinse beans. Place in the Dutch oven. Add all ingredients bring to boil and turn down burner to low, cover and cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Be sure to check beans to make sure they are not burning, stir. Add more water if need be. Near end of cooking time check the beans to make sure they are not over cooked and turning to mush.
  3. In this recipe you put as much ham as you want in it.
Southern corn bread

Southern corn bread

Southern Cornbread Recipe

We always have cornbread with our bean soup. I make it in my cast-iron skillet. I make the Southern version. I don't like the Northern stuff or Johnny Cake.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of yellow or white cornmeal (whichever you prefer)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


  1. Place all ingredients into mixing bowl, and beat until smooth.
  2. Pour in a skillet or a 9x9x2-inch pan.
  3. Baked at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes.
Soup and corn bread make a winning combination

Soup and corn bread make a winning combination

© 2013 moonlake